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Nonviolence group given 13-bedroom building

The Stop the Violence Coalition was offered a hefty present at Friday night's meeting -- a building.

The structure, on Walden Avenue, was purchased by Buffalo Half-Way House last year. But the Rev. Eugene Pierce, Buffalo Half-Way House founder and former board member, said the organization realized it didn't need the additional space and wanted to pass it on to the coalition.

The Half-Way House -- which provides shelter, education and training for former convicts -- planned to open its doors to more people. But after buying the $100,000 house and fixing the roof, the group decided it would not need the extra beds.

Coalition members applauded the proposal and said it was a result of their good work and increased visibility in the community.

"We have been chipping away at the violence here [in Buffalo] for three years," said coalition Chairman Marc Fuller. "People are starting to hear us."

The coalition brings together community leaders to try to lower the murder rate in Buffalo.

It will consider whether to accept the proposal in the next few weeks. The group might use the house as a shelter for battered women or for men who are returning home after serving time in prison, coalition leaders said.

The 10,000-square-foot structure has 13 rooms.

Coalition members also discussed several other upcoming projects at their meeting. They will receive some of the proceeds from the Ride for Peace, a two-day motorcycle ride that starts Aug. 16. More than 30 motorcycle clubs from Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse will participate in the ride.

e-mail: aerickson@buffnews.com

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