HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Residents cried out for Jesus to come into the Jonathan Street community for 12 hours, 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Residents lined the streets declaring the neighborhood is theirs.
“Jonathan Street for me is home,” said Resident Joseph Jefferson. “Jonathan Street is a place I grew up in, I lived in the 400 block and in the 300 block of jonathan street, and is the place where I come back to recharge when I forget my roots. I’ve always loved Jonathan Street because if it wasn’t for Jonathan Street, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
On Monday night, Jonathan Street had blue and red lights shining through the night when a 15-year-old girl was shot on the 300 block. However, it looked completely different on Wednesday with residents hugging one another and holding signs saying ‘Stop the Violence’ to unite themselves as one community.
“Jonathan Street has a deep soul and is a loving neighborhood,” said Resident Monique Broadus. “However, when you have the riff-raff come through that aren’t residents, it makes it bad for everybody else. We have people that are young and willing to get into the community and do whatever has to be done to make everybody happy and make it a peaceful neighborhood.
The Robert W. Johnson Community Center wanted to bring the community together, to show they do not need an increase in police presence but instead, an increase of a community presence.
“It’s a way to bring them all together today, to show some love, to show some support and to show the unity this community really does have although sometimes it doesn’t get that type of positive energy.” said Board President Jessica Scott.
Residents say they have the answer to turn things around, the City of Hagerstown needs a new direction.
“Redirecting the energy down here for people that are struggling to get them more resources so there won’t be as much stress in the Jonathan Street Community or Washington County as a whole,” said Jefferson. “The more resources we can get down here and the more activities, the more things we can do to channel this negative energy into something that’s more positive will change everything.
The Robert W. Johnson Community Center will be hosting a community sit-in on Jonathan Street every Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.