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Seniors Fight Crime

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The Department of Justice says 23-million crimes are committed every year in the U.S. And the elderly are especially vulnerable. One woman is making it her mission to help those in their golden years get help and get criminals out of their neighborhoods. Reed Galin reports.               

 
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(Locator: Pine Bluff, Arkansas)

In neighborhoods overrun by drug dealers and street crime elderly residents may not feel safe in their homes.

Oneita Fisher, Crime Victim: “I'm afraid to leave and I'm afraid to come home if I'm away. There's a lot of vandalism. And I have personally had my car stolen several times.”

Carolyn Ghotra, Crime Victim: “The guy hit me in the eye with a gun. While the other guy held me at gunpoint downstairs, and took my husband upstairs.”

Woman on street: “I had some puppies. They stole my puppies.”

Fortunately, these crime victims have a friend they can turn to.

The Rev. Edna Morgan/Healing Place Ministries, First United Methodist Church: “They are afraid to go out and empty their wastebaskets. Some of them are letting their wastebaskets pile up in their homes, because they are afraid.”

The Reverend Edna Morgan is the head of Healing Place Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. As a crime victims’ advocate for the elderly, she started a support group, offers counseling to victims, and works with police and prosecutors.

Officer Robert Treadwell/Pine Bluff Police: “A lot of people that were committing crimes in this neighborhood have been displaced or relocated.”

The Rev. Edna Morgan/Healing Place Ministries, First United Methodist Church: “The message we want to send to them is that we’re coming together in a community. And if they continue to victimize our elderly, they’re going to have to pay for that.”

Sadly, seniors are often not victims of random crime but taken advantage of by their own families.

The Rev. Edna Morgan/ Healing Place Ministries, First United Methodist Church: “We’ve had several victims who’ve had $10,000, $20,000, and even one who had her house, the deed to her house, the entire house, stolen from her by her children. Our community should wrap their arms around the elderly and care for them, for they made our country and we owe it to them to love them and to care for them and make their last years their best years.”

Support Group Member: “I still cry sometimes, I'm about to cry now, because of the help that I've gotten. This is a pleasure cry.”

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In addition to treating the emotional effects of crime, the support group helps seniors find help paying crime-related medical bills.

For more information about Healing Place Ministries, contact the Rev. Edna Morgan,
at 870-535-0101 or healingplacem@sbcglobal.net.