Pine Hills residents speak up, reach out during community forums

Appropriately named, the Pine Hills nonprofit Let Your Voice Be Heard, Inc.’s monthly meetings give voice to the voiceless, said its president and director, Miles Mulrain Jr.

“It’s like a community commission meeting,” Mulrain said. “Yes, the county and city commission do great things, but let’s focus on what we can do in the mean time for people.”

At its July meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Three Masks, Inc., 1023 W. Colonial Dr., the group will discuss programs for crime survivors, youth outreach, upcoming legislation that could restore voting rights for felons and neighborhood watches.

At the meetings, attendees listen to problems in the community and work to come up with solutions they can achieve together with their talents, time and resources. The group develops programs to combat crime and promote prosperity in the region that’s gained infamy for violence.

“You don’t have to be an elected official [to make a difference],” Mulrain said. “You just have to be an everyday person to help out.”

The group will also leave the floor open for residents to voice their concerns and ideas. Mulrain said its this open forum concept that helps bring about change, because then the group can begin workshopping solutions.

“Once a person gives us a glimpse of an idea, we just start working on it,” Mulrain said. “A lot of people have things they can do, they just don’t know what to put together.”

For example, the group’s youth outreach programs were created after attendees spoke about fights at local high schools, Mulrain said. The group has since taught lessons in schools on topics such as crime prevention and political awareness and created after-school programs.

“We try to make a central place that people can come to us and find out what’s going on,” Mulrain said. “The forum is a time for people to be involved.”

Let Your Voice Be Heard will host a Stop the Violence…

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