Support and Caring: Alternatives to Violence (ATV)

Jul 26, 2023

Earl Owens shares the significance of support and community programs like ATV in Charlotte, enabling individuals to find non-violent alternatives and improve their lives.

Earl Owens, a former gang member, was paroled after serving 13 years of a 20-year sentence. When Owens re-entered society in Charlotte, he knew the challenges and barriers associated with having a criminal history.

“I had to reinvent myself. It wasn’t until I came to this town (Charlotte), a Black town [compared to the city where he grew up], that I was afforded the opportunity to meet some people who introduced me to people to be able to do what I am doing now,” Owens shared. “You got to have support, you got to have people that care about what happens to you. That’s why programs like Alternatives to Violence are needed. We’re trying to make a difference, helping to raise awareness about the alternatives that there are to violence, selling drugs, getting into trouble, and other things.”

Excerpt from Alternatives to Violence Team’s ‘Let’s Talk’ Event was a Step Towards Building Bonds and Trust with their Beatties Ford Road Neighbors by Ryanne Persinger, October, 2022

Photo: Lisa Worf/WFAE

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