TROY, N.Y. -- A take back the community event in Troy has aimed to inspire area youth against violence.
Hundreds spent the day in three locations across the city and allowed area kids to participate in events ranging from basketball, games and even an old fashion cook out.
Between arsons, shootings and 8 homicides since January, Troy as a community has seen a lot of violent crimes.
But troy community leaders say the answer isn't to stay inside and lock the doors, but to inspire change through getting outside and making a difference.
"People are looking for a sense of belonging," said the Troy Deacon, Jerry Ford.
In a community getting a bad rep for recent violent acts, Ford says he's looking to make a change.
"We just want to bring everyone together to show that there is love here. In the midst of all the violence, there is light and there is hope," said Ford.
The event wasn't just for community members; this one was focused for area kids in hopes of steering them out of trouble as they enter the school year.
"It's very important. They need to understand that regardless of their environment, they can rise above if they have the right support,” Ford said.
Resident of Troy, Gloria Sanders Cox says change will happen when kids see more of the community coming together, as opposed to tearing each other apart.
"It's always negative; the violence, the shootings. To see everyone come together is better than the violent stuff," said Cox.
Organizers say they plan on making an impact in their community by getting out and showing kids that there are positive role models they can count on.
"We are going to be in the community, they're going to know us, there're going to see us, and we're going to keep doing what we're doing. We're going to bring positive and we're going to try and kill the negative," said Mac Henderson.
In the support of better vibes, organizers say they collected enough school supplies at the event to fill more than 150 backpacks for area kids going back to school.