Members of the mayor’s office visit Voices, a youth center in Indianapolis, during a day of events highlighting existing violence prevention measures.


On the wall at VOICES, a youth-serving nonprofit on Indianapolis’ southeast side, hangs a poem. 

Written by a former pupil and titled “If You Were to Walk in My Shoes,” it illustrates some of the things young people growing up in the city have been exposed to. Friends turning on each other. People trying to take advantage of your money. Pain. Death.

You’ll hear the police sirens all night (24/7).

You would see kids with dreams fall victim to the wrong place, wrong time.

You will have to make life choices that really matter.

People will look at you like you are wrong.

You will be told you won’t ever be anything. 

You will have to worry about dying every day you leave the house.