Ceasefire Cooks, Reaches Out to Housing Complex Reeling From Shootout

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

As five gunshots turned to 10, 20 and beyond, Rockford's Fairgrounds residents say their often gritty surroundings reached a new level.

"To be knowing that you live out there, people shooting, your kids can't go outside and play, and you got to worry about them getting shot, that's horrifying," Dominique Patterson said.

But the horror of Thursday at Fairgrounds transformed itself to joy as Ceasefire Rockford hosted a barbeque to console Fairgrounds residents, and provide hope.

"It's about changing the norm. A lot of these individuals, they live by fear of gunshots, and things that happen in this environment. This is a fresh flavor," Ceasefire Rockford Director Ralph Hawthorne said.

On Friday, about 100 people in the housing project aired out their concerns. Ceasefire will hit the high-risk neighborhoods running in the coming weeks, and work to ease problems and find solutions.

"Doing this is really helping us establish a relationship and give this community the knowledge that this community is cared about," Hawthorne said.

That's the hope for Fairgrounds residents, who now carry an anger along with fear about the constant reality of gunfire, with or without kids potentially in the crosshairs.

"It seems like it's continuing to happen day after day after day. They may not be shooting today because Ceasefire is down here, but you never know, because the people don't care.”

A caring force intervening, with a mission to increase the peace, in a housing project still reeling from dozens of bullets on the ground, and questions up in the air.


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