CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — One Champaign man is doing extraordinary things to help his community become a safer place. Seon Williams created several programs to steer kids and families in the right direction. This comes in the wake of recent gun violence involving children.
Seon Williams started an aftercare trauma help network. He says he’s dedicated to helping families who lost a loved one due to gun violence. He also began a financial literacy program.
“Its not our problem or its not their problem, its all of our problem, and I want everyone to start working together. I want us to collectively partner with each other. Share resources, share information,” Seon Williams said.
Williams is working to end gun violence in his community.
“I understood in order to sustain my business I need to reach out to the community and I need to be able to be a support system,” Williams said.
Williams owned a barbershop in Champaign-Urbana for years. He watched kids come in with their parents. Now, he’s scared those kids may become a victim to rising violence in the area.
“If your young one is involved with maybe gun violence and you guys are trying to get out of it, we have programs like CU Fresh Start, where we have a proactive program, where you don’t have to get in trouble,” Williams said.
Williams now owns a funeral home. Through this, he set up an after care program, where he helps families deal with the devastation of burying a loved one unexpectedly.
“Follow up with the family and say hey look, if anybody needs any trauma support, then we’re going to get you all the trauma support that you need and its totally free,” Williams said.
Williams also started a financial literacy class for adults and children, where he will teach people about bonds, retirement plans, the stock market, and how to manage your finances.
“We can kind of find our way out of impoverished situations that most African American families find themselves in,” Williams said.
Even with all his programs in place, he says some parents need to step up and watch out for their kids.
“Asking for families to be accountable. Be accountable for what’s going on within your household, be accountable for your young people, be accountable for you as an adult to be able to instill some good ground roots, principles, and morals and values to your young person,” Williams said.
He says it takes all members of the community to come together for the violence to end.
“All of our young people know that we care and we have love for them and that they can get the support that they need,” Williams said.
Williams says if you need help with mental health, want to join the financial program, want out of a bad situation, or anything along those lines to call him at Williams Memorial Services at (217) 351-8115 and he will help you or point you in the right direction.