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Lehigh Valley

A march to end violence and homelessness

Stand against homelessness and violence

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - It's a stand against violence in a city that's seen too much of it this year.  Marchers took to the streets of Center City Allentown Saturday to say, "Enough is enough."

They are faces you probably never knew -- and now, never will.  They are victims killed on Allentown's streets just in the last few months.

"The violence really has to stop," said marcher Arlicia Ingram.

For Ingram, it was her godson, Devon Robinson, better known as teen rapper "Daze Dysh."  Robinson wrote about escaping the same streets that took his life in October.

"He's one of the reasons I'm here right now," she said.  "He is the reason why I'm here right now."

"Here" is Hamilton Street on a morning as icy as the void left in Arlicia's heart.  She and others hope unity will thaw the grip gangs have on the inner city.

"We want the city to know that we definitely want to put some things or some components in action," said organizer Alfonso Todd of Prolifick Media.

Allentown Police are adding approximately 20 cops to the streets, thanks to grants.  This group said there's a bigger goal though, helping teens avoid gangs in the first place.

"There really is not a lot of things for the young people to do," said Todd.

This march also focused on homelessness.  It's not clear just hoe many there are in Allentown, but it's clear how easy it is to become homeless.

"People need to learn, you're only a paycheck away from being homeless yourself," said homeless activist John Gaal, who joined the marchers.

Along with the extra police presence, this group really wants the city to re-focus efforts on after-school programs to give kids something to do -- other than the streets.

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