PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A formerly incarcerated felon is giving back to the Portsmouth community.

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43-year-old Darrell Redmond runs “Give Back 2 Da Block” and meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with children who live in London Oaks Apartments in Portsmouth.  They gather in the Community Center to talk and listen. 

Last week, 10 On Your Side joined Redmond and the community as he urged more than two dozen kids to “channel what you got and utilize it to help people.”

With a lot of eyes on him, he told his story and shared his first-hand knowledge of gun violence.

“People say gun violence ‘gets people shot’ and people say gun violence is ‘bad,’ he said as read from a board that had a list of what gun violence does.

The kids then listed what they know about gun violence.

Redmond told them in his younger years that he was the person who caused the problems with guns.

“That was me,” he explained. “You’ve got to say no to guns.”

Redmond says uncontrolled energy leads to anger and can lead to gun violence.

“If you can stop and recognize this then you can control that,” he said. “If you can control the energy before it gets bad, that helps us not commit more of this gun violence, or any type of violence because you are in control of the energy that leads to motion that does that.” 

That same anger leads to other things too, he adds.

“When we get to violence, when we get to bullying, when we get into anything we get into it is always about whether you are in control,” Redmond told 10 On Your Side. “You must be in control not to do something.” 

He says his biggest accomplishment was when he learned “how to walk away” and encouraged the kids to do the same.

“Next time you are in any altercation and someone says something to you ,” Redmond encouraged. “Walk away.” 

He talks about the crime the children see on TV and encouraged the kids to “listen to this part” as the room went quiet.

“You may take life as a joke,” Redmond says. “But I see the mothers crying.”

At this point, a kid was crying that his father was killed and that he missed “him watching me playing football.”

Redmond spoke about how all his so-called friends scattered as he was getting into legal trouble and who then left him.

“Some people you think are your friends aren’t your friends,” he said. “They use you for convenience.” 

Redmond’s hoping his school of hard knocks story is exactly the lesson these children need to hear about what gun violence is.