FORT MYERS, Fla.- A Fort Myers community plagued by crime is trying take back their neighborhood...one child at a time.
A range of organizations and ages came together in Dunbar today for a day of fun, but also, as part of a wider vision to turn around an area known for high levels of poverty and crime.
Children are at play, and the grill is fired up at Clemente Park- but don't be fooled by the sights and smells- this day at the park is more than just fun and games. This group has their eye on fixing a big problem in Dunbar: crime, specifically involving kids.
"It's the lack of things to do, for little ones to do. To find different things to express themselves in other ways," Dunbar resident Niki Stephens-Lynch said Saturday.
Organizations including Fort Myers Police Department and the non-profit Quality Life Center hosted a fall festival aiming to eliminate the problems that plight Dunbar, through education.
"People can come out, bring the little ones, there's stuff to do. At the same time, there's different organizations here, passing out information and they can get some of the knowledge that they need," Stephens-Lynch said.
Representatives from local organizations talked about programs targeting drug prevention, health and wellness, and domestic violence. Those in attendance were also met by local politicians running in the November election.
"It's kind of a roll your sleeves up situation where people get to know who's actually running for office," Dunbar resident Michael Vanks said.
But more than anything, the focus of Saturday's festival was on the kids, and offering them assistance in avoiding a life of crime.
"To have that extra hand, or that extra help, is always beneficial," Stephens-Lynch said.
Bus service to early voting locations was also provided for all in attendance at today's fall festival.