( DENVER, January 30, 2019 (Newswire.com) – Rev. Leon Kelly, Executive Director of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives Program—the oldest anti-gang program in Colorado—was out on the streets for Denver’s Martin Luther King Day celebration as he has been for the past 31 years. He was joined by volunteers from the local chapter of The Way to Happiness Foundation who handed out copies of a special edition of The Way to Happiness featuring Rev. Kelly on the cover.
For the past 35 years, Rev. Kelly has been working to keep kids off the streets and out of gangs. As gang violence in Denver accelerated and the numbers of victims of gang violence continued to climb, Rev. Kelly realized ‘the only way to really kill a gang is to cut off recruitment. In order to break this cycle we have to deal with them at an earlier age before they are engulfed in this mindset.’ When he was introduced to The Way to Happiness he saw this simple guide to better living as a way to get through to young people.
He has handed out more than 10,000 copies of the booklet authored by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. Rev. Kelly says, ‘There’s nothing in this book that isn’t in the Good Book that I read and follow.’
With precepts (a general rule to guide thought or action) such as ‘Don’t Do Anything Illegal,’ ‘Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will,’ and ‘Try to Treat Others As You Would Want Them to Treat You,’ it is a natural complement to what Dr. King preached.
The Way to Happiness Foundation is proud to continue to help and support Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives and the important work Rev. Kelly has done for the Denver Metropolitan area for over three decades.
For more information, watch the episode on Dr. Leon Kelly on the Scientology Network and visit Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives at www.OpenDoorYouth.org .
DENVER — For 36 years, Reverend Leon Kelly has been monumental in the fight against gang violence.
He started one of the oldest anti-gang programs based in Denver: Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives. Kelly has been a member of the California Gang Investigator’s Association and developed a program with the Colorado Department of Corrections called “Flippin’ the Script.”
Kelly has worked with governors, law enforcement and journalists to help turn people’s lives around. He meets young people where they are, redirecting their lives and many times saving them from more gang violence. Kelly works closely with funeral homes to keep gang-related services from turning violent and continuing the cycle of killing in Denver.
He is well respected in the community but said it’s time to make an exit plan.
“Sometimes I say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’,” he said. “I’ve buried more kids, buried more people, deal with so much grief and tragedy and drama – it’s not for everybody.”
He said he’s had trouble looking for more funding for his program and for someone to replace him.
“I’m not one to ask folks for a lot of things,” he said. “Maybe I need to get my ego out of the way and let people know what I need to keep going.”
What he needs, he said, is more funding to help hire full-time staff he could start training.
“We’re not one of these big agencies that get millions and millions of dollars to run preventative programs and things of that sort,” he said. “We are what we have been for these decades – doing so much with so little.”
As he reflects on all his accomplishments, Kelly said he should not be wondering who he’s going to leave in his place: “Who’s going to be in a position to be skilled and to take this baton to go forth?”
“I am not an android, people think I just got hidrotic fluid running through my veins – no I am human,” he said.