LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A family lost a loved one to gun violence. But through this tragedy, they’re making a way to help others find redemption and giving them a second chance at a better future.
Michael McKissic lost his son, Michael McKissic II, to gun violence in 2015. His family started the Mikey 23 Foundation shortly after.
“Yes, I miss him. Yes, I love him,” Michael says. “But I know that he would want us to help the community out.”
The foundation teaches young people skilled trades to help build houses in Lansing. A newly-acquired house will help them take their work even further.
“This particular house is made for individuals coming out of the prison system,” he says. “So we’re gonna try to make it a transition home to house them, clothe them, and also teach them a building trade if they wish.”
McKissic says providing these simple things can mean the difference between someone staying out of jail or prison and becoming productive members of society.
“When individuals come from incarceration, some of them will be locked up for five, ten years. So they’ll come home to family that’s no longer around, they moved out of state. And they just need a place to stay. It’s very important as the Mikey 23 Foundation and the community as a whole in Lansing to and support them.”
The house still needs more work before anyone can move in. Mikey’s father says it’s a testament of his son’s heart.
“He was always giving, helping other people,” he says of his son. “He was always, that was the type of person that he was. And so his mother and I, we raised him that way, so one of the biggest things as Mikey 23 we want to keep his legacy always living in regards to helping people out in society.”
McKissic says he takes comfort in doing work that would make his son proud.