Local program places role models in South Jackson homes - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Local program places role models in South Jackson homes

source: WLBT source: WLBT

A group of kids who were caught stealing from a south Jackson man got quite a life lesson earlier this week. 

The homeowner, Marshall Thompson Jr. was not able to get to all who burglarized his home on Winfield Street, but he says it's just the beginning of a bigger mission.

Thompson is part of a program called Isaiah 58, which places young professionals and families in South Jackson abandoned homes.

Thompson has been living in the neighborhood for two years. Monday, he caught six kids red handed taking items out of his shed on Winfield Street, but he didn't call police.

"Took the other three in the house and if was definitely trying to scare them and talk to them. And said what if I had killed you and they were like are you going to whip us and they are crying," Thompson explained.

Neighbors begged Thompson to let them go, and eventually someone called police.

Thompson, a martial arts academy owner, and former  national champion wanted to teach them a lesson.

"I wish maybe the police actually could have took all of them in and just let them see how it would be, then later released them like a scared straight type situation," Thompson said.

He's one of 14 people who chose South Jackson as his home to be a mentor to youth.  

The mission of Isaiah 58 Project is to preserve the physical, social, spiritual and economic health of South Jackson. 

"We want to bring some young professionals but then also families here that we believe is going to change from the inside out," said Ronnie Crudup Jr.

Crudup, Jr. said Isaiah 58 purchases homes through New Horizon Church.  Crudup Jr. said right now finances are tight and they could use any donations.

"We help restore homes and sale them to stable families that can afford the monthly payments and also bring added value to the home and neighborhood," he said.

The program relocates 200 families from New Horizon Church to South Jackson. Crudup understands situation like Monday's may happen, but says there's a bigger purpose.

"There's sometimes issues that do happen. I've had my truck broken into. But we're not going to leave. We are going to stay here, fight to make our community better," Crudup Jr. explained.

Something Marshall is doing one day at a time.

"I knew that these type of things were going to happen. We move here wanting to be a change agent," Thompson said.

To learn how to donate to the cause, you can contact the church, New Horizon Ministries by going to this website, www.newhmi.org. 

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