Organizers Want Jobs for Youth to Curb Gang Violence

Dina Carrilo, the mother of Jose Escobar, a 19-year-old man who was gunned down in October, speaks to the Mission Peace Collaborative.

Dina Carrilo, the mother of Jose Escobar, a 19-year-old man who was gunned down in October, speaks to the Mission Peace Collaborative.

En Español.

Hundreds of community organizers met for the second time late last week to put together a plan to end violence in the Mission District. Elements of the plan include determining what services are available, which ones need more funding, and what local laws should be changed to help get at-risk youth off the streets and prevent gang violence.

“These brothers and sisters need anger management because they’ve got anger, they’ve got drug problems, they’ve got alcohol problems, they’ve got mental health problems,” said Roberto Hernandez, one of the organizers.

While gang violence in the Mission has decreased dramatically over the years, a recent uptick has driven local organizers to come up with a comprehensive plan. The Mission Police Station, which serves about 90,000 residents in the Mission, Castro and Noe Valley neighborhoods, recorded nine homicides in 2012 — half of what the station recorded in 2008, the oldest numbers available.

Members of the loose coalition, called the Mission Peace Collaborative, packed the auditorium at Everett Middle School to finish drawing up a plan that addresses the social problems that lead to gang violence. The group split into six committees — education and health, policy, employment, housing, cultural arts and recreation, and faith and immigration — to come up with policy suggestions to present to city officials.

Organizers have created similar plans in the past but the city has not taken action on them, Hernandez said. Organizers hope that this time will be different, and they have the support of District 9 Supervisor David Campos.

“The issue of public safety cannot be resolved unless the community has a voice and a say,” Campos said. “I am committed to making sure whatever solutions the community comes up with that we make sure the city invests the resources to implement it.”

One of the coalition’s overarching goals is to identify the assets already available, fund them, and streamline the services to those who need them.

“If we have sources on demand, just like Comcast can get you movies on demand, we should get services on demand,” Hernandez said.

One way to get youth off the streets is to help them find jobs. The group wants to explore how the local hiring law could be used to help secure jobs for youths in the city’s burgeoning construction industry.

“That’s what 90 percent of the brothers and sisters said they want: ‘Give me a job and I’ll get off the streets,’” Hernandez said. Local merchants groups have expressed interest in helping, he said.

Coalition members are already encouraged by the community response.

Dina Carrillo, the mother of Jose Escobar, a 19-year-old man who was gunned down on 16th Street in October 2012, asked to speak after reading about the group’s efforts.

“I have two little ones here and I want them to see the community, I want them to know that we just didn’t lose Jose,” she said. “We need to keep this going positive.”

Several of the committees will continue meeting in the coming weeks. No dates for future meetings have been set at this time; Mission Local will post them as they become available.

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20 Comments

  1. Soonerdiver

    How about parental guidance for the children? Instead of saying they need jobs to keep them out of trouble how about parents (both of them) taking responsibility?

    • mission bred

      Not all families have two parents. Some parents work double shifts to support their families. Low incomes families are under a lot of pressure paying higher rents, other bills and jobs don’t pay well. The city is not family friendly. Higher income folks hire nannies to watch there kids. Could send there kids to private schools, hire tutors and such. The divide is great in the mission and getting wider. Its not so black and white to blame the parents.

      • Blurpy

        All those situations just described don’t sound like an ideal environment for raising a family. The lesson I gather is: don’t have children (especially more than one!) if you can’t afford it.

      • Soonerdiver

        I too am “Mission Bred” (19th and Hartford)… that really has nothing to do with parental control. If there is only one mother/father it means you make bigger (harder) sacrifices for your child/children.

        But the kids today are more interested in what someone is going to give them. There is not responsibility in attitude, dress or deportment!

        I stick with my original posting.

  2. Gee

    we are unstoppable ! keep trying

  3. SafeStreets

    Jobs are easy to get if you have bothered to put effort into education and gaining useful skills.

    If you want a job, there are many free online resources that will teach you how to write code, build websites, etc. It really is not hard, you just have to try.

    and if you don’t have a job now, then you have plenty of time to invest in that learning.

    So, complaining that there are no jobs is really just a sign of lazy whining.

    • Laura

      You are so stupid it’s painful. Sure, it’s easy to access all that information on the Internet if you have a computer and Internet access. Those things cost money.

      • Blurpy

        I dunno, I see a looooooot of directTV/satellite/cable tv dishes on damn near every apartment building in my neck of the Mission. Lots of smart phones in my neighbor’s hands, too, and I’m not talking about “hipsters.” Computers now are cheaper than they’ve ever been. There’s all sorts of package deals to get internet at home for a pretty low rate. It’s all about priorities.

      • SafeStreets

        There are many places to access the internet for free. Try the public library for starters. There are also many non-profit organizations who would like to help in this manner. Really, ALL the resources are there, you just have to try. The only stupid people in this case are those who lack the motivation to help themselves.

        • mission bred

          Easy to say when you are not in someones shoes. Calling people lazy is a very typical remark.

      • Soonerdiver

        Not at a local library!

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  5. randolph mortimer

    The

  6. Pamela

    Campos’ job is to make District 9 safe for his voting constituents, not enable these people. Stop making excuses. Go to school, learn the basics – English, reading, writing, math, graduate from high school, go onto college, have a job. Millions of poor have done this without resorting to violence.

    • randolph mortimer

      Campos’ job is is to get re-elected or elected into another position – it’s pretty clear he doesn’t care about anything else, and you can see this based on the state of the Mission under his “supervision”.

      Also, how hilarious is it suggesting gang members or potential gang members would give up making easy money with little work via criminal enterprises for a construction job? Do you even live on this planet?

  7. Interesting view, having said that I still find it even more
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  8. Truth

    I don’t see anger being an issue, like I have said in other posts they need jobs yes, but instead of just giving them jobs. How about we give them success skills in order to thrive in other jobs. Or how about we can set up scholarships for at risk youths, that allows them to go to college without the financial burden. Anger is not what is causing our youth to act violently, aggressive, impulsivness, and why most gang memebers have learning disabilties. I think it is because of our lead plauged city. I appreciate that Campos has atleast made the effort to launch a new program on lead abatement. I truely believe that lead is our source of this violent uptick. Trust me ive

    • Truth

      I have done a lot of research on lead poisoning and there are many medical journals and many creditble sources to confirm leads connection with violent crimes. I strongly urge everone to look into lead poisoning and san francisco’s love affair with lead back in the 70′$.

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