About 30 ministers responded to Council member Harry Thomas Jr.'s call to action this morning, as the body count continues to rise in Ward 5 (six slayings in eight days).
The ministers gathered at the John A. Wilson Building to talk about ways to deal with the spike in violence and to address other issues, such as providing more support for the area's senior residents.
Thomas said the increase in police in the ward is a necessary way to deal with the crisis on the back end, but the "challenge is to deal with the problem on the front end."
He said he is calling on churches to help reach out to a generation of troubled young people who are in need of multi-services, from mental health care to jobs.
The Rev. Morris L. Shearin, pastor of Israel Baptist Church, said churches could help fight crime since they already serve as community centers with programs for children, seniors and others. Israel, which is in Northeast, has an average attendance of 400 to 500 people each Sunday, he said.
"We represent the spiritual part of the community," Shearin said. "But not everybody goes to church."