AURORA, Colo. — As city officials discuss a recent increase in youth gun violence in Aurora, local organizations are coming together to discuss ways to support teens in some of the most underserved areas of the city.
“We want to bring some kind of cohesiveness and collaboration so that there is a personal relationship that's built, so that we all commune together as a whole and address the issues,” said Compound of Compassion Founder Shana Shaw.
Compound of Compassion is nonprofit that helps connect community members with resources like food, housing, health care, childcare, and safe spaces for youth in Aurora and Denver.
Recently, Compound of Compassion moved its headquarters to the New Direction Praise and Worship Center on E. Mississippi Avenue in Aurora.
A few weeks ago, in the parking lot of the strip mall where the center is located, one person died following a deadly shooting during a Juneteenth celebration.
Compound of Compassion saw this as an opportunity to be in a place where the organization is needed most and to provide a safe space for teens.
“Any time a life is lost in our community it’s a tragedy… We want our youth to know we are here and ready to provide the services that they need,” Shaw said.
Compound of Compassion is one of more than a dozen organizations that can be found at New Direction.
Many of the organizations are already doing solution-based work, and Shaw said they would like the city to support them and utilize them as resources.
Several nonprofits, including Compound of Compassion, are planning to host a back-to-school block party this August to provide resources to parents and kids as they head back to the classroom.