Annual Unity & Peace Resource Fair
This resource fair has been established to raise public awareness and address the lack of services in the Newton GRYD (Gang Reduction Youth Development) area in South Los Angeles. Our annual community fair commemorates the life of Laura Sanchez as well as the lives of all victims of homicide; it brings and provides available resources to our community with a stong emphasis on programs and services where victims, families, and community members can find advice, guidance, and support. We invite you to join us in the efforts of L.A.U.R.A. in bringing peace and unity to South Los Angeles and supporting crime survivors and at-risk youth.
Join us weekly at our LAURA / Newton Collaborative
Thursdays at 5:00pm
Fred Roberts Park
4700 Honduras St.
Los Angeles, CA 90011
Come and collaborate with your neighbors, city, county, state officials and other department representatives to learn about positive changes in our community. Take part in bringing and creating positive change!
Get Involved by Choice not Force!
There is a child, a youth waiting for your help!
BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION!
The following are L.A.U.R.A’s main programs:
1. LAURA’S Youth Program
Goal: The Youth Program offers space for youth to find an alternative to gangs. Along with Alternative ways for therapy such as non-traditional therapy. This group creates experiences and opportunities for youth that would otherwise not be exposed to in South Central Los Angeles. Youth will be exposed to positive experiences that will help them deal with the homicide and pain they are expose to. When nearly 15% of the Los Angeles City homicides happen between a nine-mile radius from our community, youth become more exposed. Alternatives they are exposed to are such as instead of just hanging out at the park the youth are able to join the youth group and meet other peers in the community. When they join the youth group, they become active in organizing community clean up’s and other changes they want to see.
History: The Youth Program was organically created a few days after Laura Sanchez’s murder. The younger members of Laura’s family organized a community rally where they carried a message of Peace and Change in South Central. This rally generated a spark within the community; a rally that began with eight youth, concluded with 200 community members, the rally that was scheduled for a block ran for 20 blocks. This rally turned into one of the first peace marches in South Central, Los Angeles.
2. LAURA’S Victims Support Program
Goal: The Victims Support Program aims to create strength out of tragedy, and unity out of pain. We act as a bridge between families who had suffered devastating loss and access existing resources. We are unique in that we take a holistic approach to victim support services; we offer support and resources to the family of the victim and the family of the perpetrator. A homicide affects mothers, fathers, sisters, bother, in turn an entire community suffers from one homicide. Resources can include access to financial support, mentoring for the children or younger siblings of those who had been impacted by homicide, substance abuse help for friends who seek to self-medicate their trauma, and many other supports that can help those impacted by violence. We provide a venue to connect suffering families to concrete resources to create stronger families, and in turn create healthier communities.
Our current collaborations with local governmental agencies such as the Mayor’s Gang Reduction Youth Development (GRYD), City Crises Respond Team (CRT), or Victims of Crime (VOC) strength our work, we understand that in a city of 3 million people is continually working on improving their Victim Services program, which starts at the time of a Homicide notification and will stay with the victim’s families for the rest of our existence.
- Victims Family members – LAURA is there for the long haul, as victim advocates who have experience the pain of having a loved one murdered we understand the changes that happen to a family. The most functional family becomes a dysfunctional-family after it is touched by homicide.
- We Walk along – With the family, and offer guidance in navigating the system to get them the resources that are avalible.
- LAURA provides support from the time we are notified till the family does not want us there.
- Financial support – we send out an ASK, to friends, relatives, and all in our contact list asking for financial help for the families in need.
- Crisis responders –We are there at the crime scene offering support to family members, assuring they have the most essential needs, a safe space, water, clothing, meds, and to notify family if needed. And liaison with law enforcement.
- We are there listening, offering a space where victims family member can cry, share without judgment or interrogation
- Monthly Support Meeting – we offer victims family members and loved ones a safe space where they can come and talk, celebrate, morn and deal with grief for their loved one, with other people who are experiencing the pain of having a loved one murdered.
- Perpetrators familiy members – LAURA offers them the space where they can share, their personal feelings, of being related to a person who has cause so much pain to others.
- We listen without judging– offer family members the opportunity for their youth to participate in our youth group
- youth group – Youth learn to deal with their own pain, and not carrying the shame of having a brother, sister, or parent in prison. Many families in communities with high crim rates have both victims and perpetrators in their families.
- Understanding – In these communities many families, are dealing with the pain of having a child murdered, and one in prison, therefore it is difficult to deal with having a conversation about either side, Holidays are difficult to celebrate without loved ones there. LAURA Victims Group, offers support and an opportunity to to remember and celebrate loved one at an annual Tree Trimming, where loved ones can come and make a tree ornament in memory of a loved one.
History: The Victims Support Program began a few days after Laura’s murder; it began with family asking for advice, guidance and support. A family who had been impacted by violence and who was struggling to resume their lives.
3. LAURA’S Community Collaborative (Civic Engagement)
Goal: The Community Collaborative works to unify and strengthen the community members of South Central. LAURA aims to develop leadership and empower community to be the agents of change. Runs parallel with the Youth group in the civic engagement. The meetings are one of the few spaces for community members to share, learn, and speak. This space was created to hear the concerns of the community and make strategic priorities depending on the needs of the community.
- Community Collaborative – LAURA has brought together community members, Law Enforcement, Community Base Organizations, Recreation and Parks along with elected official, to bring positive changes to the infrastructure in our community. For example, a sidewalk on 45th St. / Honduras, wheelchair ramp on sidewalks corners. A new gymnasium and a rebuilt park at Fred Roberts, along with play areas improvement in the surrounding areas.
- Civic Engagement – There are many departments in the city of Los Angeles, that have open seats for community representatives, What we have found out is the our area seats have been vacant for a very long time, therefore we have taken on the mission of filling them with community members. Because of the lack of knowledge e have we collaborate and have teamed up with different city departments and Organizations that offer trainings, and brought the training to our community We have community and youth members, representing the community at different meetings, and coming back and reporting back to the community. We participate in trips to the City hall for council meetings, speak on important issues raised by the community.
- Build a sense of community – LAURA hosts different events and Pot-Lucks that help bring the community together, such as Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, Thanks’ Giving, and Winter Wishes Day.. Because we know the importance of Having a mother on mothers Day, or a father on father’s day, we celebrate them as a community to give the youth that do not have a parent at home learn the meaning of appreciation, we honor men or women who play those important roles in their life. As a mom or dad that have their child in person, to have a community youth appreciate them, make a world of a difference to them.
- The Community Collaborative partners up with Youth Group, they work hand on hand, and offer support, where community members may have the idea but don’t speak English, the youth might translate for them.
History: The Community Collaborate initiated after our 2nd LAURA Unity & Peace Resource Fair. During the Resource Fair community members repeatedly expressed concerns about the South Central community, and they emphasized that they felt ignored by the greater Los Angeles community. LAURA felt the need to bridge gap between community members and the city of Los Angeles. Soon after the 2nd Resource Fair, LAURA organized weekly community meetings where local stakeholders, governmental agencies, service providers and police agencies could meet to discuss community issues.
Please contact us to get involved!