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Durham group hosts benefit for families affected by violent crime

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A choir group from London performs at a benefit for the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham. A choir group from London performs at a benefit for the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A group that helps people impacted by violent crime held a benefit concert Sunday afternoon in Durham.

The Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham held a concert Sunday at Lyon Park Community Center to raise money to keep the group's efforts going.

"There's always a family who doesn't have food. There's a family whose family member was murdered who was the head of the household or was the bread winner in the family," explained Effie Steele, chairwoman of the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham. "So we try to help them out and try to get them back on an even keel. Also, they have children -- we try to work with them on that."

The benefit featured a choir group from London with the goal of attracting people who may not typical come to the organization's events.

Joseph Roberts, who's 34-year-old son Jerron McGrit died in a double homicide on Cheek Road, attended Sunday's concert to ease his mind.

"If I didn't have this group, there ain't no telling where I'd been right now, I'm being honest with you," said Roberts.

Roberts said the group in charge of Sunday's concert really supports the families of the victims.

"Whatever the situation is, they'll work with you and talk with you about it, tell you the best way to get in, the best way to try to make things easier. People that love you and I fell in love with them," said Roberts.

The organization also works with people who have just been released from prison.

"They get job training skills, they get all the information they need so that they can be successful on the outside and not have to go back to prison," said Steele.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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