PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A North Philly family held their second annual Vigil for Peace Friday.
"These homicides happening in Philadelphia it's too much," said Tiffany Hellams. She knows the pain of losing a loved one. Her brother Saleem was murdered four years ago. She’s one of a few dozen people who came out tonight for a vigil in North Philly.
"We can keep doing this every year. It might not cure the pain ever but it can help them. It can help them ease their pain more and more and more," said Mark Rawstein. He and his family organized the vigil held near 16th and Susquehanna Street. It's the second year they've hosted it to get the community together to remember those lost to gun violence and to promote peace.
"We're here to bring forth unity that's the bottom line of this. It’s to bring forth unity," said Rahk Rawstein
Several people spoke to express their heartache and call for an end to the violence. Some signed posters with the names of people murdered in Philadelphia.
Terry Starks runs a crisis center near 16th and Lehigh where he put out this casket with a sign that reads “all lives matter”. It represents a 16-year old boy who was killed after leaving the center which serves as a safe place for kids to escape the violence of the streets.
"We lost four of our kids this year to gun violence. Jaquan was the last one. Over the weekend he got shot twice in his head after he left our center," said Starks.
"Kids should be able to play in the streets but you know when it's senseless violence going on it's like wow people still aren't figuring it out and still not trying to get it. So it is heartbreaking," said Caine Rawstein.
The Rawsteins vow to continue hosting the vigil until change happens.
"It's a passion to bring the community together and it's also to remember all of those who lost loved ones to the street," said Markida Ross.