NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In an effort to tackle crime in Nashville, one organization has spent years working to help men with troubled pasts by giving them the tools they need to succeed, both personally and professionally.

The director of 4:13 Strong, Eric Evans, told News 2 the program has been around for over a decade, adding that he hopes it will help put an end to violence in the community.  

“It’s crazy just how much crime is out there,” Evans said.  

On Thursday, Nov. 3, Evans and others with 4:13 Strong celebrated eight men who made it past the first 40 days of the program.  

“Today is our sign-on day, where we get to pick what jobs we’re going to,” explained Dakavian Harris, part of the 4:13 Strong program. 

These men were also able to announce where they will work in Nashville, ranging from construction companies to transit to Metro Water Services.

“It’s giving young Black men stability, it’s giving them support, it’s giving them a job, it’s giving them a chance, and most of all, it’s taking them off of the streets,” said Larry Powell. 

Powell has been a volunteer and mentor for the program for past eight years. Within the last five months, he has lost two of his kids to violence.

“The worst pain a parent can feel is to pick out two tombstones at one time,” Powell said.  

“The need is obvious when you see so many young men dying, you see a lot of young men committing crimes, all because they didn’t think there was an opportunity,” Evans said.  

Powell is pouring his heart and soul into this opportunity in honor of his two children.

“Carrying on their legacy by being a part of this, to help curb the violence so that another parent won’t have to experience or go through what I just went through,” said Powell.  

If you want to learn more about 4:13 Strong — including opportunities to join the program, volunteer, or become a job partner — follow this link.