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Breaking the Cycle | 'It's a poverty problem, any place full of poverty is full of crime'

We have had back-to-back record-breaking years of violence in Louisville. Here's a look at how poverty plays a role in the violence.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lamonte Gracia, 22, grew up in the Newburg neighborhood of Louisville, "I didn't have as much as everybody else had. So I always felt like, out of place."

Incarcerated at 16, he hasn't been out since. He was arrested for Burglary.   "So I felt the need to get money to get clothes that everybody else was because I couldn't my people couldn't afford the type of clothes that I wanted to wear," said Gracia.

Gracia says he wanted to be a basketball player, but even playing sports costs money. The money his family didn't have. "They couldn't afford it like they would be like I was committed to the team, but you had to pay this amount of money for the uniforms traveling and this and that," said Gracia.

 As crime continues to rise in Louisville, there is one factor that officials like assistant Commonwealth's attorney, Elizabeth Jones Brown said can't be ignored, "But most the vast majority of them are situational crimes. And poverty is probably the biggest driver in that."

Looking at US Census Bureau data from 2019 and LMPD data, there is a correlation between poverty and homicides. This map shows the homicides from November 15th. 

Credit: TANK

"So there's a lot of issues that are deep-rooted in poverty," said CEO and founder of Roots 101, Lamont Collins. Poverty is historically synonymous with crime. 

"We need funding people know that we know you can't change that unless you put money to it to change it and resources," said Collins.

Resources that could change the trajectory of a kid's life. 

WHAS11 Anchor Kristin Goodwillie asked Gracia why he never wanted to be a doctor or lawyer.

"I never seen it in my, in my surroundings to where I would be like, I could do it too. It just wouldn't. It just wasn't realistic to me," said Gracia.

If you'd like to hear more from our community about the record-breaking homicides, you can watch our 30-minute special called 'Breaking the Cycle' on our YouTube Channel

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