DES MOINES, Iowa — In the wake of a tragic shooting, educational program Starts Right Here has temporarily closed its doors, but at-risk youth are still in need of support. That’s why well known organization, Creative Visions, is stepping in and ensuring that children have a place to turn.

“The ages of the individuals accessing weapons is getting younger and younger. So, we are developing a message to reach younger people that hopefully will deter them from even putting the gun in their hands,” said Ivette Muhammad, Chief Operating Officer for Creative Visions.

A Violence Interrupted Program aiming to get to the bottom of why these tragic events happen. Giving individuals access to tools and resources to help.

“The VIP program doesn’t function within the game, we’re changing the game. They are looking at the root causes,” said Ako Abdul-Samad, Founder of Creative Visions.

Root causes like food scarcity, mental health access, and a place for underserved youth to step away from their reality

“Our mission is to get in front of this on both sides, to help people understand that this is not normal behavior. That this is not supposed to be happening in our community. To understand that a life is a life.”

That is the goal: Normal. Kids able to go to class without fear of being shot, able to go home and find food in the fridge, a chance for kids to simply be kids.

“It is up to the community now. This may not be the last candle light vigil, this may not be the last shooting, but we’re gonna start working together to make it the last time. and it’s gonna take some time,” said Ako Abdul-Samad, Founder of Creative Visions.