2017-05-26 / Community

Richards, Sheltering Arms, Mark Important Anniversary

By Gail Johnson

Photo Rock Safe Streets Directors, Dream Team Leaders, Ocean Village Security and Sheltering Arms celebrate “365 days without a shooting.” Photo Rock Safe Streets Directors, Dream Team Leaders, Ocean Village Security and Sheltering Arms celebrate “365 days without a shooting.” The Arverne community came together on Tuesday, May 23 at the Arverne View Apartment Building 1, 57-17 Shore Front Parkway, formerly known as Ocean View) to celebrate more than 365 days without a shooting due the intervention of Sheltering Arms’ Rock Safe Streets gun violence intervention program.

Councilman Donovan Richards, whose political career was born because he wanted to make a difference after the shooting death of a close friend, brought the Rock Safe Streets program to Far Rockaway.

“Rock Safe Streets and all the staff of Sheltering Arms have been tireless advocates for the safety and success of this community and my constituents,” said Richards. “I see the benefit of our investment in their work. We’re humbled and grateful to this community for standing together to say no to violence and build a safer, thriving future for the children of Far Rockaway.”

Earlier this year, Richards in association with the NYC Council and the Black, Latino and Asian Caucuses presented Rock Safe Streets with an award proclamation in honor of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. for their work that reduced street violence from 40 to 70 percent.

Under the guidance of Program Director Amy Wilkerson and Program manager Rosalyn Mason, their staff, “mediates conflict, counsels high-risk youth and prevents gun violence.”

According to the 101st Precinct, since Rock Safe Streets was introduced in 2015, the number of shootings has dropped by 90 percent.

“We do several events with them a year” said Captain Courtney Nilan, the Executive Officer of the 101st Precinct. “In the three years they have been here, from 2015 to now, they have done amazing work with us, helping us to bridge the gap between the community and the police.”

Community residents and the Ocean Village security team were honored with certificates for promoting peace and harmony, healing and conflict mediation in place of retaliation and violence through ‘peace pledges’.

Rock Safe Streets empowers peaceful residents “to apply social pressure on the few individuals who are the source of conflict in the community. In 2016, alone, Rock Safe Streets gathered over 20,000 peace pledges from local residents. Individuals who pledged to mediate conflict without turning to violence received a signed card to carry in their wallets and paid it forward by asking neighbors and friends to join the pledge. Twice per month, the violence interruption team canvasses hundreds of local businesses, day cares, cars, and homes to solicit pledges of nonviolence and help mediate conflict” according to a Sheltering Arms spokesperson.

Sheree Sophas of Surreal Serenity celebrated the more than 365 days without a shooting with prose and Pastor Rubin of Jesus Family Ministries with prayer.

Rock Safe Streets will be celebrating Gun Violence Awareness Month at their annual Peace Fest on June 24 by reclaiming the streets with a community-wide block party for peace and unity.

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Sheltering arms is a great

Sheltering arms is a great organization watch those politician coalition of the rockaways Bruce jacobs

How can you honor somebody

How can you honor somebody who sells out our,neighborhood brings hotel shelters and shelters and possible prison to our neighbor and who honors a killer in the puetorico parade he does fight to help the kis in neighborhood organisation however i think he does it for votes debate the coalition of the rockaways bruce jacobs any time councilman i care about my neighborhood

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