Roanoke Housing Authority hosts first community cookout of the year

The cookouts are an opportunity for people affected by gun violence to learn more about resources available

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority is cooking up something to try and address the ongoing issue of gun violence in the city.

Greg Goodman is the Director of Community Support Services for the authority. He said this is the first cookout in a series they will have throughout the year.

“This is more our first official cookout though that we’re going to be doing throughout the year over here and at Jamestown. The real reason we’re doing these is simply to connect our residents and community members with resources in the community,” Goodman said.

The cookouts are open to anyone, and one of the ultimate goals is to get people who were affected by gun violence connected with resources available in the city.

Vice Mayor of Roanoke and Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Commission, Joe Cobb, said these sorts of events give people a chance to just connect with each other.

“Now what we’re seeing is we have a strategy, we have a plan, we’re working that plan. More and more citizens are engaged. They’re saying how can I volunteer, where can I help,” Cobb said.

So far in 2023, 10 News has tracked at least seven gun-related incidents and one officer-involved shooting in Roanoke. The cookout happened to be the day after the most recent incident that left three teens hospitalized.

“There’s economic issues. There’s opportunity issues where you may not have transportation. There’s a lot of just different factors that are going into why we’re having gun violence. What we’re doing is literally bringing resources to eliminate all of those barriers,” Goodman said.

The hope is to have these cookouts quarterly at the newly remodeled Envision Center and at the Jamestown Apartments.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.