CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign County Community Coalition in partnership with WCIA-3 hosted a special town hall Wednesday night at the Champaign Holiday Inn.

WCIA-3 anchor Jennifer Roscoe moderated a panel of four people representing local organizations and law enforcement agencies. The organizations are:

  • Champaign County Sheriff’s Office
  • FirstFollowers
    • FirstFollowers is a Champaign-based reentry and support program for those impacted by violence and incarceration. The organization runs support groups, provides housing and employment assistance to people recently released from prison and hosts community events to prevent violence. FirstFollowers utilizes a peer-based mentoring model, believing that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Its ultimate goal is reflected in its motto “Building Community Through Reentry.”
    • Contact information:
  • Youth & Family Peer Support Alliance
    • Youth & Family Peer Support Alliance, also known as The Alliance, is a family-run organization that provides support for families of children and young adults with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges. The only organization if its kind operating in Illinois, The Alliance hosts support groups and educational meetings and raises awareness of children’s mental health issues throughout the state. The Alliance also utilizes a peer-based mentoring model, with parents assisting other parents in raising children with mental health challenges.
    • Contact information:
      • Phone: (217) 717-4398
  • Champaign Unit 4 Schools
    • Champaign Unit 4 School’s Operation Hope engages high school students in positive activities that support academic performance, healthy lifestyles and social skills. Operation Hope provides services that include mentoring, tutoring and academic supports, monthly peer group meetings and workshops, career and vocational experiences, college visits and community service. The goal is to help high school students navigate the path to graduation and have a post-graduation plan in place.
    • Contact information:

The Champaign County Community Coalition and WCIA-3 hope that this town hall will bring us one step closer to achieving Victory Over Violence.