The purpose of Citizen Against Violence Ministry, Inc. is to bring our communities together to decrease
the Violence in our surrounding area.
That everyone is responsible for their actions in our community.
Our goal is to achieve a safer community in which to live.
The organization was started October 3, 2015—when two young men were killed in Valdosta, Georgia. Rev. J.D. Martin thought it was time to make a difference and began the organization, working from his home.
In August of 2016, Rev. Martin was allowed to use a building the Housing Authority had in their possession, to work positive programs created for the community (such as Social Service and S.O.U.L. P.A.T.R.O.L). In August of 2017, Rev. Martin partnered with the Mail Box Club to institute a program called the Venture Club —which helps our youth to grow spiritually. In May 2017 we were given the use of a larger building that will accommodate 40 of our youth at a time. Our total youth count is 150 and we have an adult staff of ten volunteers (we are currently looking for a bigger facility).
The Citizen Against Violence Youth Program is a drug, tobacco, alcohol, and abstinence program, which has been recognized by parents as one of the most effective programs for our youth. The program stresses the positive role model in the home and community. The youth are placed in a positive and controlled environment within our education and recreational activities. We have started a youth leadership team that is a part of The Venture Club.
The teenage urban environment is saturated with alcohol, drugs, pregnancy, tobacco, AIDS, theft, gangs, gun violence, and little parental support.
Daily, our nation’s youth are bombarded with messages, through entertainment media and their peers, telling them that using drugs, having sex, and using tobacco products is okay. It seems like marijuana is everywhere these days reports 1 in 2 American teens (47%) in the partnership for a drug-free America. An attitude teaching study of 13 to 18-year-olds by the partnership reports from teens responding: 2 in 5 had tried marijuana, 1 in 3 had used Marijuana within the past year, and 1 in 5 was a current user. According to a study done by Valdosta Daily Times in 2017, there is an opioid epidemic in Valdosta. In Georgia alone, an estimated 9.8% of all 12 to 17-year-olds had used meth, according to the National Household Survey on drug abuse.
These examples are just a few of the many tragic situations urban youth face in America. The other problems are pregnancy, crime, and AIDS. According to one study, the use of illegal drugs, teen pregnancy, youth crime, and AIDS, costs the U.S. citizens approximately 500 billion dollars each year. The greatest cost of risky behavior is paid in human lives: either by death or destroyed futures.
Youth behavior can influence the future. Decisions made and skills learned during the teenage years will affect adult choices. For this reason, Citizen Against Violence Ministry, Inc. partnered with the Venture Club — we believe it is important to reach out to youth at a very early age.
- To utilize a comprehensive plan of action to decrease violence, which is stated in our methodology
- To collaborate with other organizations and churches
- To mentor youth in the urban areas of Valdosta, to help decrease use of drugs, tobacco, gang involvement, prevent teenage pregnancy, other crimes, and AIDS.
- Train citizen and community leaders to work in our community to decrease violence.
- To decrease the perception that nothing can be done about violence in our community.
Citizen Against Violence Ministry, Inc. is designed to educate, train, and equip the community with positive programs to decrease violence. To accomplish this program’s design, the following components are vital:
- Citizen Against Violence Ministry, Inc. Club. Clubs are organized block by block with a team leader in charge of the club. Signs are posted in yards when they become members of the club.
- S.O.U.L. P.A.T.R.O.L. is people on patrol in the community to maintain the safety of the club against burglaries, gangs, and any crime. They are the supportive community.
- Educational programs: A Partnership with the Mailbox Club and the Venture Club. These programs teach moral values to youth. Guest speakers on prevention and awareness of drug, alcohol, tobacco use, AIDS, and teenage pregnancy.
- Parental Involvement
- Parents are the key to the growth and success of Citizen Against Violence Ministry, Inc. youth program (Venture Club). Letters are sent to parents, keeping them informed.
- Parent conferences are required, keeping communication between Citizen Against Violence Ministry, Inc. volunteers and parents.
- Home visits are made, keeping all involved aware of activities and progress.
- Parent Appreciation Day (for parents supporting our program)
- Social Services Program
- We offer the following to help decrease crime:
- Job referral program — which helps provide jobs for anyone out of work and helps some with criminal records or homeless.
- Food—helping those in need.
- Rent & Utilities—for those who have lost their job, loss of home, or fire victims.
- Counseling—offered to low-income families.
- Behavioral class for at-risk youth.