Gardnel Carter Safe Streets Success

“I’m using my life as an example. I don’t want to see another individual go down the road that I went down,” said director of Baltimore’s Cure Violence partner Safe Streets East Initiative Gardnel Carter. “Everybody has the capacity to change.” After serving close to two decades in prison for an assemblage of charges, Carter became involved in Safe Streets.

With the efforts of Carter and other Safe Streets members, a twelve-square-block in East Baltimore hedged in between Patterson Park Avenue and Monument, Fayette and Linwood streets lasted over a year (June 20, 2010 – August 10, 2011) without a single non-fatal shooting. During its three and a half years of action, Safe Streets East has been responsible for a 26 percent reduction in homicides in the neighborhood of McElderry Park according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

It’s Carter’s familiarity with this way of living that contributes most to his ability to prevent violence. Forsaking his previous life of crime for violence mediation and Muslim beliefs, Carter remedies himself as he works to change the lives of others in his community, regardless of their prior deeds.