TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– A Topeka man is going back to the streets, but this time, to help kids get on the right track.
Raymond Fox, a Topeka barber, grew up in the central part of town. Growing up wasn’t a walk in the park. When Raymond was a teenager, he turned to the streets of Topeka, getting in trouble with the law and battling addiction in and out of prison.
“I asked god, if I get through this,” Fox said. “I’m tired. You know what I’m saying?”
Around 2010, Raymond hit his breaking point. While he was in jail he turned to God, which then turned his life around. When he was released, he got back on his feet, got a job, then eventually a license to cut hair.
He felt the need to help and inspire others so he joined community organizations like Topeka JUMP.
Topeka JUMP is an organization that addresses challenges in Topeka and Shawnee County, setting an example for kids who are just like him.
“It is hard to hear the voices of people who have a story like Ray’s,” said Shanae Holman with Topeka JUMP. “Look for the genuine voices like his, that will tell you what it is people need in this community. Because they know better than anybody else.”
Fox said he has had many ups and downs in his life, some of which could have let him back tot he street life.
“You can do anything you want to do,” Fox said. “It’s you versus you. You just gotta want it. I’m going to be an example for them. Then get more people like me that survived it, even if they didn’t. We’re coming together and demonstrating what we got demonstrated to us.”
He said it’s the people who are looking up to him, and how far he’s come that keep him going on a positive track.
Raymond, Topeka JUMP and other stakeholders are working together to create a group that targets reducing violence in Topeka. They’re hoping to launch it this summer.
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