Organization opens in Pittsburgh to improve resident and police relationships

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert sat side-by-side with police shooting survivor and community activist Leon Ford.

Together— in what they admitted many would call an unlikely partnership—they introduced the Hear Foundation.

“This is the proof of what happens when two people who probably shouldn’t be friends—come together,” said Police Chief Scott Schubert, Co-Founder Hear Foundation.

“I am a perfect example of community because despite what I’ve experienced you all have showed up for me in a way that allowed me to vision, to dream,” said Leon Ford, Co-Founder Hear Foundation.

The Hear foundation is an organization that has been in the works for months.

It focuses on gun violence reduction, trauma, education and workforce development through various community initiatives.

Today was the official start of the foundation and the introduction of its Summer of Healing project.

It offers free, six-week camps that involve care of children, academic achievements and community service.

Community engagement police officers will be embedded in the various programs.

“As someone coming from the community where so many voices are left out, I wanted to work with the chief to create a platform where we can really help the community in an authentic way,” said Ford.

Both Chief Schubert and Ford say working to create a safer community through this partnership with police is critical especially following the recent surge in violence.

It’s something city of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey passionately applauded.

“When we talk about our youth and what’s going on in our society the Hear foundation is the appropriate name because if we don’t hear the screams the youth have been added—then we can’t change the game,” said Gainey.

Hear’s summer of healing initiative also includes hiring five youth to develop a safety plan at Perry High School as well as a social worker.

There will also be more than a dozen workshops over the summer.

You will see those opportunities in the weeks ahead.