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Harrisburg community members working to combat ongoing violence

After a recent string of violent crime, two men are working to make a difference in the city.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After a weekend of violence in the capital city, Harrisburg community members are stepping up to try and stop the cycle of aggression that's plagued the area.

Calvin "OG" Hollman knows the streets and neighborhoods of Harrisburg well. A lifelong resident, Hollman was involved in crime as a young man, but turned his life around after gun violence left him paralyzed for a time.

Hollman says he understands some of the struggles young people in the area may be facing.

"There’s a difference between doing the right thing and there's a difference between holding your head high in your neighborhood, but you don’t have to be violent with it."

Working with the L.O.O.P Boyz & Girlz organization, Hollman acts as a mentor, specifically with men in their late-teens and early 20's, to help them before it may be too late.

“Going to jail...we gotta stop glorifying that because these youngsters don’t understand – they don’t know the difference – they think that’s cool," Hollman says, while standing in front of L.O.O.P's headquarters in the Allison Hill neighborhood.

“And it’s okay that they don’t understand – and us OGs gotta let them know...we didn’t know better at that age – it took me until I was 28," he notes.

“But we gotta let them know – put these guns down because it ain't even worth it.”

Gun violence has been a pervasive issue in the area. There have been eight shootings so far this year alone.

Kevin Dolphin, another Harrisburg native and founder of Breaking the Chainz, says that the community and police still have a lot of work to do.

“We'd like to bridge the gap between the police and the you know, the citizens in the community," Dolphin said, "but it's a difficult task to get individuals that to speak out…many of them don't say anything until it hits home...but once it hits home, then you want someone to do something about it.”

Dolphin noted that more can be done on both ides of the issue to help change perception around the police and youth relationships.

"So if I'm involved in criminal activity, nine times out of ten I'm going to view the police as being my enemy," Dolphin said.

"But that's not the case when you change these individuals perceptions and get them to understand that the police are here to help serve and protect this community. "

Two men, reaching out a helping hand to the community they love.


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