Local group installing solar-powered lights in neighborhoods to help combat crime

Catalyst Community Care and Action Team installs solar-powered lights in Hampton (July 20).png
Posted at 8:56 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 22:21:25-04

HAMPTON, Va. - Tuesday night, lots of people of all ages helped provide a little more security for a Hampton neighborhood while also shining a light on the recent gun violence in Hampton Roads.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Kimberly Prince told News 3. “We just want to make sure our close-knit family, nothing happens to none of them.”

Prince and her husband, William, have lived on Smith Street in Hampton for about two years.

“We’re like family around here,” Prince said of her neighbors.

Lately, they've been keeping tabs on the recent gun violence throughout Hampton Roads.

“It’s just so sad,” she said. “You don’t want to be scared of living, because you have to go out and do certain things. But it crosses my mind about others because some people are just scared to go out. They’re scared to do anything.”

Stats show the impact of gun violence in the City of Hampton.

When looking at the period of January 1-June 28 in 2020 and 2021, the total number of people with gunshot injuries rose more than 6%. Meanwhile, non-deadly gunshot injuries rose more than 14%

“It makes us feel like we have work to do,” Cortez Higgs with the Catalyst Community Care and Action Team said.

Tuesday, Higgs and his group brought a little light to Prince's neighborhood. They installed solar-powered lights at about a dozen homes, including hers.

“When it’s dark, nobody can see anything,” Prince said.

The lights are a result of their own money and help from churches and others.

“If we don’t speak up when we see or experience violence, we’ll give perpetrators a place and power to continue,” Higgs told News 3. “If a light can bring a little bit of hope, it can bring a little bit of encouragement, then that’s exactly what we want to do.”

Higgs and others plan on going around Hampton Roads to other cities to provide more peace, safety and security.

Related: News 3 takes a deeper look at gun violence in Hampton Roads

“What you see out here is individuals who have this sense of community,” Higgs said. “We are together. We are a unified front, and we’re not going to stand.”

To learn more about how you can nominate a neighborhood to get lights installed by Higgs’s group, click here.