Ministry educates parents about gangs

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A local church is doing its part to fight Augusta's growing gang problem.

Tonight the non-profit group Full Circle Refuge spoke to the community at Aldersgate Methodist Church on Wheeler Road.

Full Circle Refuge is a juvenile justice ministry. The organization wants to educate parents on how to spot gang activity and how to help stop the problem before it spreads to their home.

At the seminar, parents learned about certain risk factors children are exposed to every day that promote gang activity as well as signs of gang activity, like clothing, symbols, slogans, hand gestures, colors and habits.

They also learned how to respond to gang activity or gang members.

Rev. Kathy Lamon said the church's decision to host the seminar was a personal one.

"This forum was particularly important to us, because we had a youth in the fall of last year about a mile an a half down the road was a victim a gang violence incident," she said. "He was not part of a gang. He was at a party. He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Events organizer Devon Harris says being proactive against gangs is the best way to fight the growing problem.

"We don't want to be reactive to this thing," he said. "Because just like roaches in our houses, if you react to them they are going to take over. You have to be proactive. You see on roach you have to take care of it. You definitely do."