The annual event is held to improve relationships between police and neighbors.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands of communities celebrated National Night Out on Tuesday

The annual event is held to improve relationships between police and neighbors. National Night Out, held for the 38th year, was founded by the National Association of Town Watch and takes place on the first Tuesday of August.

This year, 38 million neighbors and 16,000 communities held events. Here in Pennsylvania, 181 cities registered for events, including several cities in our region.

In Homewood, people observed the event near the intersection of Kendron and Sterrett streets. They had free food, music and more to bring neighbors together on the back end of a violent 24 hours.

Eric Thomas, a 20-year-old from Homewood North, died after being gunned down on the 7400 block of Monticello Street. The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. on Monday.

Earlier Monday, 27-year-old Ebony McCary was shot and left for dead in the middle of Blackadore Avenue. She later died at the hospital.

People observing National Night Out on Tuesday are hoping days like today plant seeds of humanity and empathy in communities where violent crime is climbing.

“We the people have to make a change,” said Donna Jackson, chair of the Larimer Consensus Group. “We can’t expect the police to do everything. So with that being said, we partner with the police. We meet once a month, talk and discuss. We also attended the zone 5 meetings.”

For a list of events in the city of Pittsburgh, click here.

Read more about the National Association of Town Watch here.