CLEVELAND (WJW) — In the first six months of the year, more than 70 people were shot to death in the city of Cleveland.
There have been well over 150 shootings.
There are many theories and methods being used to try to stop gun violence, but this may be the first time someone offered a meal and more at one of Cleveland’s best restaurants.
Starting right now, anyone who brings in an unloaded handgun to Edwins restaurants, bakery or butcher shop will be given a $250 gift card that can be used at any Edwins location, whether it is for fine dining, top cuts of meat or fresh baked goods.
“The fabric of our neighborhoods has changed and we have to change with it. We have to figure out ways to change the status quo,” said Edwins founder and CEO Brandon Chrostowski.
Chrostowski said it’s time that the Cleveland community thinks outside the box, especially when it comes to getting guns out of the hands of youth.
He said he’s talked with many people in the community who want the business sector to step up, and many folks are supporting this start.
“Anything that gets turned in and the money we give away, I’ve got supporters who will reimburse us for this food we’ll scale this as high as it can go. They’re interested in it but they don’t want to lose their business, so now it’s going to be working with all these private sectors to find the money to make this a city-wide initiative,” Chrostowski said
Edwins leadership program helps give second chances to people who were formerly incarcerated, and Chrostowski says getting guns out of the hands of especially young people may help them start over again, because giving someone a chance to get rid of their guns may be all that they need.
“There is never a better chance to turn over a new leaf, and you can do it. Know it is just one step in the right direction. There are many other services out here, whether it’s school or a trade — you can change today and you can change right now,” Chrostowski said.
The restaurant hopes to collect 100 guns before July.
All weapons will be turned over to Cleveland police so they can be destroyed.