As Toledo’s violence involving young people continues to rise, a mother and son share how it has affected them.
Toledo, Ohio — As the second week of February continues, teenage death They account for more than half of all homicides in Toledo in 2023. Since December 5, 2022, there have been five juvenile murders.
That does not include the three teenagers who were hospitalized after being shot last week.
Jeremiah Polchia, 17, said seeing other teenagers injured and killed forced her to make some changes. He said he needed something to keep them busy and he needed to make people feel safe.
“Very sad,” he said. “These people need mentors in life to benefit.”
For Porkia, the mentor is Sean Mahone Sr., a community leader who runs a tough love program aimed at helping troubled youth. Young men and women for change.
Recent violence against teens brings home Mahone’s repeated calls for change.
“It’s frustrating because all we have to do is talk to the elephant in the room,” he said. “We have to see how many parents in our community are literally screaming for help.”
Those parents include Jeremiah’s mother, Danetta Walker.
“These babies are dying,” Walker said. “Young people are killing each other. It’s like what’s going on. It used to be not so bad, but now it’s almost a daily occurrence.”
She wakes up and is horrified to see her son in that position.
Porchia admits that spending time with people from different backgrounds and home lives got her into trouble.
He’s been expelled from TPS and admits he’s made a mistake, but he’s trying to change it and help others do the same.
“They aren’t necessarily the best people, but if there’s one person in their life that they see doing something bigger, like wanting to be an entrepreneur, I think they can change,” Porchia said. said.
Walker said parents also need to step in and get more involved.
“It’s not just about children,” she said. “We often blame children and say they’re bad children. I need to be. There is no one to talk to.”
Mahone fears children will continue to die unless steps are taken to reduce crime involving young people.
“Our young people feel like they can do whatever they want,” Mahone said.
“They think it’s okay to have guns, they think it’s okay to come out here and commit crimes, and they think they won’t be punished for it.”
Porchia is dedicated to making better choices in life as part of Mahone’s tough love program, and is considering how to enroll in carpentry school.
https://www.wtol.com/article/news/local/toledo-mother-son-share-fears-about-youth-violence/512-9eb036e2-900d-48e7-8530-eb42a6f6fea0 Toledo mother and son share fear of youth violence in city