Martha O’Bryan works to transform lives, heal communities

Crime Tracker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Neighborhood violence can’t be fixed strictly with police. That’s surely part of it, but it takes a community to fight back.

The Cayce Homes in East Nashville is a community in the middle of that movement. Interaction, inclusion, and cohesion are the goals.

At times, Nashville’s neighborhoods are seeing the opposite.

“That’s one of our mottos at Martha O’Bryan. We see a problem, we go to a solution,” said Marsha Edwards.

Edwards is in it. She’s the president and CEO of the Martha O’Bryan center entrenched in the Cayce Homes housing development.

The center is all about educating, enriching and reaching young people.

Tragically, two of their best teenagers were gunned down this year-Vastoria Lucas and Deberianah Begley.

Edwards, with 17 years of experience there, says it’s a problem of despair, not just violence.

“It isn’t about what happened that day. It’s not about that gun being stolen, any of that stuff. What it’s really about… that kid started to believe the wrong things about themselves a long time ago,” she told News 2.

The Martha O’Bryan Center is a part of fixing that. In fact, it’s been a part of hundreds of success stories.

Four months ago, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency gave the city $100,000 to pay for extra officers to put police out of patrol cars and on foot. It’s a step to make officers approachable and build trust.

Police need the public.

“We absolutely, absolutely need people to act on what they see and to feel like they can call us, and they can call us anonymously. They can call Crime Stoppers,” said Commander David Imhof.

It’s a scratch on the surface, but it’s imperative in providing opportunities.

“If we give them that, they will go out and create wonder and beauty and success we can’t even imagine today,” Edwards said.

Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency also installed extra cameras.

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