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State, local officials discuss social problems in Beckley Saturday

Local - 7/19/2014 7:07 PM
BECKLEY - State and local dignitaries battled the elements Saturday to stand up in support of a local organization.

Dozens dodged the rain at the Third Annual Operation Family Freedom event, which was held at the Epling Stadium in Beckley. 

Southern West Virginia is plagued with numerous social problems, and Friday's event helped focus on tackling them.

"The drug problem in our community is kind of like an elephant in the room," said Melonie Terry of One Voice. "It takes the community to come along. There's a lot of individuals out there who have this problem themselves or with their families. They don't know who to turn to. They don't know who to reach."

Beckley Mayor Bill O'Brien, Congressman Nick Rahall and guest speaker U.S. District Attorney for southern West Virginia Booth Goodwin.

"Bottom line, we can't arrest our way out of this situation," Goodwin said. "We can't prosecute our way out of this situation. It's going to take people like Deborah Davis and One Voice to really get the people the help that they need."

Children were treated to school supplies and school pictures, and parents were offered educational materials and counseling.

One Voice is a faith-based organization that reaches communities through prevention, education and support. 

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