Groups spread message of healing in riot zone

Groups promote healing following unrest in north St. Louis

FERGUSON, Mo. - As protests continued in Ferguson Tuesday, one group said it's time to start the town's healing process. 

It's been four days since a Ferguson police officer shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in the northern suburb of St. Louis.

Hundreds gathered outside the St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office Tuesday afternoon in Clayton.

They talked about finding a common message in the protests because of the many groups involved.

Two groups are trying to spread a message of healing. They're offering professional health services for the community. 

Better Family Life and the Hopewell Center, two local groups, are offering physical, mental, and emotional help for everyone affected by the two nights of unrest.

It's always the little things you forget when hosting an event. For Miranda Jones, it's string.

She's the Director of Youth Services for Better Family Life, a group partnering with the Hopewell Center to make doctors and psychologists available for people in the exhausted community.

"They just need to talk to somebody. Not just the people protesting and looting, but the people who've been in their homes, back in the community that have heard all the helicopters and the shootings and have had trouble getting into their homes to get their clothes. Those are the people that we're here for right now."

Jones, who lives in nearby Jennings, said she's one of them.

Helicopters kept her awake the past two nights, but she knows she's not the only one struggling, and wants to start the healing process for a town she said is hurting.

"A few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch. But if all of these good people out here do what we have to do to heal ourselves and our communities, then our communities will get better," said Jones.

Dr. Erickson Smith, a psychologist with the Hopewell Center, said people's tension over the situation boiled over the past two days, waiting for any developments on the situation involving the police department and Brown.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Tuesday he would not release the name of the officer who shot Brown Saturday, after planning to tell people the name sometime on Tuesday.

Dr. Smith said people need to discuss those feelings with a professional instead of taking that anger and turning it into negative action.

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