Kentucky city looking to help people find safer homes after shootings

Published 11:02 am Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cynthia Hall lost her son, granddaughter and home to gunfire.

All in a matter of two days.

Hall, 53, said she no longer felt safe in her apartment in Louisville’s Parkland neighborhood after someone fired more than 75 bullets into the home in the early morning of Feb. 2. Later that day, her son and granddaughter were shot and killed a few miles away.

Now, months later, she and her daughter are sleeping in their car.

“It’s miserable,” Hall said. “… I don’t like asking nobody for nothing. I’ve always been able to get up and get it myself.”

Hall isn’t the only person who’s been forced out of her home by violence in Louisville. Christopher 2X, executive director of local anti-violence nonprofit Game Changers, said he’s had many people — he estimates up to 20 a year — reach out to him after being displaced by violence during his 20 years of advocacy in the city.

A decade ago, those people were concentrated in a few Louisville Metro Police districts, but over recent years it became more of a widespread problem. 2X said he’s gotten calls from people of varied backgrounds living in different neighborhoods around the city.

“It’s grown, and the problem is not just in west Louisville and downtown east Louisville,” 2X said. “… It’s always going to be more heavily concentrated in certain areas, but there’s strong evidence the shootings started to spread.”

From January 2018 to June 2019, a total of more than 4,500 citizen reports of gunshots came in from all eight of Louisville’s police districts, according to data Game Changers received from the city.

After shootings, police may suggest residents leave their homes at least temporarily if there’s reason to believe they could be in danger, LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell said. But for many people, the bullets alone are enough to make them move.