PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- So far in 2021, there has been a 28% increase in homicides in Philadelphia compared to 2020.
In the city's Grays Ferry section, one man is using his second chance to help local youth and address this violent trend.
South Philly native Tyrique Glasgow has been through many ups and downs early on in his life.
The gun violence survivor was shot 11 times in 2004 and previously served prison time on a gun charge.
Glasgow, 37, was released in 2012 at the age of 28 on a mission to turn his life around for the better.
"It was a combination of two things. One was looking in the mirror, being a representation in my community as a Black man and changing the stereotype of being on the corner," said Glasgow. "It also was being a leader with my friend Nasir who wanted to participate in a recreational program down at Vare (Recreation Center.) He asked for assistance, and from that, our organization started."
The Young Chances Foundation came to fruition, which focuses on providing assistance and support to at-risk youth.
Since 2014, the program has hosted safe after-school activities, a safe annual summer camp for the youth, and community giveback events that address poverty.
"Over the years, it wasn't focusing on just the athletics, but reducing poverty and understanding the challenges that we had not only as a man but as a community," Glasgow added. "From mental and emotional health to the food disparities and the lack of education resources we have in our communities."
These efforts later led to the opening of their community center in 2019, located on the 2700 block of Tasker Street.
The center serves as a community resource hub and a youth mentoring space surrounding education and recreational activities.
Glasgow believes the city's gun violence numbers have a direct association with the issues faced day-to-day.
"You talk about trauma. You talk about the emotional help and therapy that's needed in our community. Those are programs that need to come through here," said Glasgow.
Glasgow adds that the pandemic has only exposed what underserved areas have been lacking for years.
"It's not to highlight our mishaps or our challenges, but to push the help that we need in our community," he said.
Within a few block radius from 27th and Tasker streets, Glasgow highlights how the traumas of gun scene tapings, trash on the ground, and graffiti painting on business walls, provide a different outlook compared to the beginning of Grays Ferry section near 29th and Tasker streets.
Glasgow uses both the community center and the now named Lanier Dog Park to help reach families from all addresses, and overcome the issues involving gun violence and poverty, collectively.
"It's not just being aware of the things we see but trying to change the things out there," said Glasgow. "With this park, we see the difference, but we want to make it the same. The same is living together fairly and understanding that our future is what we need to concentrate on."
South Philly native aims to address gun violence, poverty through 'Young Chances Foundation'
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