West Philly community comes together for anti-violence block party

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This Labor Day Weekend, a neighborhood in West Philadelphia is trying to reclaim its streets.

With the hope of making its youngest residents feel safe. This after a child was shot and killed while playing on his porch.

A summer Saturday block party in West Philadelphia that by all accounts shows how a community can come together in the face of adversity.

"We are trying to unite the kids to come back on out and the families to come back out like we used to do and have fun," said block captain Derrick Smith.

Smith pulled out all the stops with the help of local organizations and city leaders.

Bounce houses, school and food supply giveaways, and an environment for children to spend some quality time with police here for all to enjoy.

Not lost on the neighborhood, is the most recent tragedy that caused many tempers to boil over, the murder of 7-year-old Zamar Jones.

The little boy died after being shot in the head while playing in front of his home.

Authorities say his life was taken at the hands of three men, who waged a shootout in the neighborhood last month.

The three men accused in the shooting that led to the death have all been identified by police and are awaiting court dates.

"People are still dealing with that trauma," said co-organizer YahNé Ndgo.

Ndgo says events like these are a part of a bigger movement to help communities bond and seek comfort. Especially where there may be no other outlet.

"People need healing and so this is one approach to providing some of that," said Ndgo.

All while reminding everyone that violence has no home here.

"It's a blessing for me and a blessing for this block," Smith added.
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