CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Recent shootings in Cape Girardeau have many residents increasing awareness in an effort to lessen crimes in the area.
Individuals and organizations are even conducting meetings and stepping up efforts to combat the violence.
This includes Soulful Harvest Ministries Pastor Scott Johnson, who is taking an approach to help the community heal and change for the better.
Johnson recently announced that his church acquired a home in the southern part of Cape Girardeau to help individuals who may need some support.
"It's a solution and give people hope for a better way. I am very passionate about it," Johnson said. "To give the people enlightenment, understanding and hope that it doesn't have to stay like this all the time. We can make this thing work."
Johnson called this facility the Life Impact Center, which will help those with substance abuse and offer a variety of services including counseling, life skills, mentorship a food pantry and more.
He said this will help with core issues in the south Cape Girardeau area that need will bring a positive change.
"Once you start meeting the needs of the people, then they begin to get healthier in the way they live and think," Johnson said. "Then that in turn, turns into them being more confident about doing more and speaking out more in the community about what's going on."
Johnson said people need to be more vocal in the community as well.
"You have people in the community that will see murders and shootings and things like that happening that won't say anything or afraid to say anything," Johnson said. "If you even look around the area, the block we are on, how is this acceptable?"
Johnson is also looking into a second facility which will be a home dedicated to help those that need a place to stay.
"We will be doing recovery support services," Johnson said. "It's a sober living space. What we will do is collaborate with agencies. The guys that are out and don't have a place to go or live, what we'll do is give them a safe place to stay. A long term, not continuously but integrating them back out into society with healthy treatment plans."
He also said it's important to come together and spruce up properties, including picking up trash, trimming bushes and make the neighborhoods more visually appealing.
He encouraged anyone to help pick up any trash along the street or in their yards as well.
"Our motto is ‘I can show you better than I can tell you’, Johnson said. “If you don’t believe me, just watch.”
The Life Impact Center facility is located on Ranney Avenue and is looking to open by the end of February.
The facility will be appointment based only. For more information, call Soulful Harvest Ministries at 573-225-8097 or message them through their Facebook page here.
Meanwhile, progress is happening at two projects spearheaded by the People’s Shelter in Cape Girardeau.
According to Pastor Renita Green, those living at The Peaceful Place are settling in. It’s a home created in partnership with Saint Francis Healthcare System with a goal of ending homelessness for single men.
More renovations are being done on the shelter’s second home with a similar goal. It’s called A Beautiful Mess.