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Juvenile Crime Prevention Council aims to prevent teen crimes

The Guilford County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council was created to prevent juveniles from becoming delinquent and providing community based alternatives.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — From BB guns, to bomb threats, to clear bags we've got a big problem in our communities right now.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've seen crimes involving juveniles.

Two teens were arrested for the murder of two 16-year-olds. Just this past weekend, a 14 and 18-year-old were found dead in a field. A 17-year-old is being sought in this case. 

WFMY News 2's Amber Lake decided to sit in on a Guilford Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, or JCPC, meeting to find out what is available for teens who may need help. 

The JCPC essentially helps existing programs find the money they need from the state in order to provide help to teens. 

"Sometimes families need support from mental health, therapy, mentors a lot of those programs do those types of things," said JCPC Chair, Marcus Jackson. 

One organization that was at the meeting was Youth Focus

Youth focus is a local nonprofit that helps youth to achieve safety, security, and success. 

Executive Director Sarah Roethlinger said one way they help teens is by helping them get off the streets. 

"And so a lot of times youth, they just need someone to show them that they care and they need those basic resources," Roethlinger said.

She told me homelessness is a huge problem amongst our teenagers.

"When [they] are on the streets and they are stealing and getting involved in crimes, a lot of times they don't have the support and resources within their families, neighborhoods, or their communities. So offering some strong support giving them a place to live and the things that they need and showing them that they can be something different," Roethlinger expressed.

Guilford county schools say that over 1.5 million children in the United States are homeless.

Last school year, more than 1,000 students in Guilford county were considered homeless.

We're told these students have a greater chance of falling behind in their school work and committing crimes. 

Youth Focus said their goal is to reach these teens early and give them the resources they need to prevent that from happening. 

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