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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In the wake of drug problems and violence in low-income neighborhoods, area churches have decided it’s time to put their ‘Boots on the Ground’ and change hearts and minds for the better.

‘Boots on the Ground’ hit the pavement nine months ago and held an awareness event Saturday. It’s an effort led by local churches in conjunction with the Wilmington Police Department.

The group says it wants to serve as prevention and not clean-up. ‘Boots on the Ground’ helps with jobs, housing and transitioning from prison back to the real world.

“We’re looking for African American churches to come join us and help us go into our communities, where the bulk of the problem is,” Founder Rev. Dr. James Jamison of Hope Baptist Church for All Nations said. “I know that’s not popular, but the fact of the matter is, the bulk of the problem is happening in and around our communities. We need to go in and handle our business.”

The next ‘Boots on the Ground’ meeting is set for next month at the Wilmington Police Department.

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