Group calls on community to unite in wake of shootings in Poughkeepsie

Members of SNUG Poughkeepsie are calling on the community to unite and work to give young people a reason to live and not die.
Family Services SNUG is an evidence-based outreach program based on the CURE violence model.
"Together what we have to do is come together and we have to give our young people a reason to live and not to die," says Debra Long, of Family Service SNUG.
There have been five shootings in the city of Poughkeepsie over the last few months. One recently claimed the life of 14-year-old Akeem Stevens, who died from a gunshot wound to the head Sunday.
"Culturally now we're fighting two pandemics," says Eric Yaya Archer, of Family Services SNUG. "When teenagers are dying at this rate, we're fighting more than COVID here."
Poughkeepsie School District officials say within the last seven months three of their students have died because of a gun.
SNUG hopes the community and parents will actively work towards ending the violent killing of the city's youngest. The group is asking 25 citizens to step up as mentors and participate in some events this week. The events include a sneaker drive and a pancake breakfast.
Police ask anyone with information on the shootings to call 845-451-7577.