Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shooting Response Today (7/25) at 6 PM at the corner of Schenectady Ave and St Johns Pl

We are saddened to inform you that on Tuesday, July 24th, there was a shooting in the S.O.S. catchment area at the corner of Schenectady Ave and St. Johns Place. Two victims were shot. One of the victims has died.

Please join S.O.S. to respond to this violence. We will gather today, July 25, at 6 PM at the site of the shooting (Schenectady Ave. and St Johns Pl.).

We respond to every shooting that occurs in the S.O.S. target area to ensure that these tragedies do not pass unremarked as though they are normal and acceptable. We create a safe space on our streets, at the site of the shooting, where neighborhood residents can raise their voices in protest.

Stop Shooting. Start Living.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Position Openings at Save Our Streets and the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center

We are currently accepting applications for four open positions at CHCMC/SOS. Click on the position to see the full job description.

Applications for all positions will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but the deadline for the Americorps positions is August 15th.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Amy Ellenbogen and Jose Cedillo, holding his winning piece
Congratulations to Jose Cedillo, who won the recent Arts to End Violence art contest! Our judges honored Jose’s work out of several dozen excellent submissions to the festival.
We Can End It, by Jose Cedillo
The piece, entitled “We Can End It,” expresses Jose’s belief that gang violence is wrong and that anyone, including those involved in gangs, can choose peace. It reflects a change in Jose’s own life, as he was once gang-affiliated. He describes his former self as “one of those types of guys you wouldn’t see past 21” and part of the high-risk population S.O.S. reaches. However, on the very day Jose planned officially to join a gang, his friend was stabbed and it transformed his perspective on gangs and violence.

Since then, Jose has shared the message of nonviolence with family and friends by telling stories about the realities of gang violence. He also became an officer in his school’s branch of the National Honor Society and used his position to encourage other students to pursue paths that lead to success, rather than violence.

Jose has been creating art since his childhood and started sharing it publicly a few years ago. He recently graduated from high school and plans to study culinary arts or medicine in the future.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Save Our Streets Crown Heights Featured on Brooklyn Independent Television

Brooklyn Independent Television reporter Fred Brown recently interviewed S.O.S. staff during Save Our Streets Week. Crown Heights Mediation Center Director Amy Ellenbogen said, "Enough is enough. The cost of gun violence hurts all of us too much, and we know together we can end the disease." Outreach Worker Derick Scott said, "You watch my brother I'll watch yours... this is how we come together. One thing is for sure, and two things are for certain, we have to bring the neighbor back to the hood"

See the full video below:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Crown Heights Hero: D.R.E.A.M.S. Director Ditashia Kahn

Erika Isabel, an S.O.S. volunteer since 2011, is interviewing local heroes who do invaluable work to increase the peace in our neighborhood and beyond. We will be sharing these interviews on our blog. Our first feature is of D.R.E.A.M.S director, Ditashia Kahn. Read the interview below to learn about D.R.E.A.M.S. and Ditashia Kahn's work.

1. What do you do?

We help young adults become Dedicated Responsible Educated Accountable Motivated and Self-Sufficient, the meaning of our acronym, D.R.E.A.M.S. We organize panels and housing development which brings me to D.R.E.A.M.’s philosophy, to bring other services into the community, not just to build housing. D.R.E.A.M.S. was started because we found that every time buildings were being renovated, teens were vandalizing them. So the program was created so that teens would have activities like sports, games, reading assignments, and other activities to deal with this issue. The idea was proposed to me by D.R.E.M.S. organizers who said that “more than that needs to be given to these teens” , like community service, education programs, motivation, pre-GED, and computer classes, all things that help make young people self-sufficient, and this reinvented D.R.E.A.M.S.-the organization on a whole. So, within the organization, we started Youth Build which is a construction program where teens go to work one week and are in school the other week. They’re taught:

1. Life-Skills
2. Education
3. Mandated Community Service
4. Leadership Development
5. Career and College Prep

2. What do you do that helps increase the peace?

D.R.E.A.M.S. partners with S.O.S. Crown Heights and involves people like YO S.O.S. program coordinator Marlon Peterson who did a presentation for the Art to End Violence Contest. We also participated in the 20 year anniversary of the Crown Heights riots where we were out serving and giving out information on stopping the violence in the community. We also have a program called S.M.A.R.T. which stands for Start Making a Real Transformation. This is a program that is a part of Youth Build, which is a reentry/transition program for ex-offenders by providing them with job and life readiness classes. In order to stay in S.M.A.R.T. they have to perform 300 hours of community service. Also, since the Voter Registration drive is coming up, D.R.E.A.M.S. has committed to enlisting 200 voters for the 2012 Election.

3. What can others do to join you?

We’re looking for mentors and tutors as well as clothes for our students who are going to job interviews. Anytime there’s a big service event, volunteers are more than welcome

4. What message do you have to the community?

The community has everything it needs to be great. Young people are the solution, not the problem. If they have someone to believe in them and see them as the solution, then the community can be better. This is my life’s work; I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
If you have any questions about D.R.E.A.M.S. or want to utilize their services contact:
Ditashia Kahn, MSW (Tasha)
1615 St. Johns Place Brooklyn NY 11233