Posters, chants and prayers are all part of what's called a rapid response.
CeaseFire's goal is to change the way people think. During a rapid response they urge residents to step out of their apartment to listen to their unified message that violence is not acceptable.
At a rapid response, agency representatives and concerned citizens started with a prayer vigil. Then a group of about 30 people walked throughout the housing complex chanting “stop the shooting, stop the violence.” Flyers and buttons were also passed out, but this could be the last rapid response for about seven weeks.
CeaseFire is short about $20,000, so director Ralph Hawthorne says he will suspend the program in mid-May unless the community can financially help his mission.
In attendance at this rally was our new Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. The mayor says he plans to meet with Hawthorne next week to discuss a long-term solution for their funding woes and the city's safety.
Due to budget concerns, CeaseFire has laid off one outreach worker and cut back on their spending.