'It Would Be Easy To Walk Away...But The Hardest Thing Is To Stick Around' | WYPR

'It Would Be Easy To Walk Away...But The Hardest Thing Is To Stick Around'

Apr 30, 2015
Originally published on April 29, 2015 3:56 pm

After hundreds rioted in Baltimore, residents and business owners tried to pick themselves up – cleaning the streets, repairing their neighborhoods. McElderry Park is one neighborhood that needed repair the next day.  James Fletcher was checking in on folks when he stepped into a check cashing store in East Baltimore.  Rioters had broken windows, the door, stolen an atm machine, busted another one, and taken the cash.   Fletcher is the director of a mentoring program, MentorPlus COBC, in McElderry Park.  When the rioting broke out, he says he recognized some of the faces in the streets.  “I am taking it personally because  I try so hard. I was a troubled youth myself.  I see all they need is someone to talk to them  - just to let them know that there’s people here for you just open your arms and accept us.  I say over time if we just keep going and going and be dedicated, we’ll soon reach them.  We just can’t lose faith. We can’t lose hope.  I mean it would be so easy to walk away, but the hardest thing is to stick around and fight through it.”  Fletcher he’s not going to let the anger that’s risen up destroy his community.