SOUTH COUNTY — Four Cities For Peace Block Party brought the community together Aug. 26 to play games and hear stories about South County residents’ road to recovery.
Sandy Pineda from Sun Street Centers attended the Block Party to distribute information to youth and parents about the effects of drugs and alcohol.
“Our goal is to hopefully educate parents and grandparents on the effects and what’s going on, what’s trending now and what the consequences are if they choose to take part in those trends,” said Pineda.
Pineda is a case management specialist at Sun Street Centers and its new program “Road to Success,” a youth pre-diversion program.
“We are so happy to be a part of the fourth annual Block Party and listen to people’s stories about recovery,” said Darlene Acosta of Sun Street Centers and King City council member. “Many of them have come up to the booth and said what a part Sun Street Centers played in their recovery, whether they were from Pueblo De Mar Men’s Residential. I just have an enormous amount of pride to be here and humbled for the work we do.”
There are five Sun Street Centers throughout Monterey County and San Benito County.
Right next to the Sun Street Centers booth was another booth with a more somber tone. The booth was in memorial of Christian Rosales, who was murdered this year on Jan. 1. Rosales was leaving a New Year’s party with his friends in Salinas when they were robbed. He was killed in the progress of the robbery.
“We are part of this group, Victims of Crime, and we as mothers get together once a month to encourage each other, uplift each other and try to meet the needs of mothers who have suffered a loss,” said Rene Salazar, Rosales’ mother. “There’s been a big loss in Salinas and I think there needs to be something done because not all kids or adults are gang members, they’re innocent bystanders.”
Rosales worked for the Gonzales Taylor Farms facility during the summer and was attending Hartnell College. Hartnell also honored Rosales by giving his family his diploma.
“I’ve had such a great outpouring of this community here in Gonzales and with the school district,” said Salazar. “And there’s been a lot of love from the community.”
The day also included a watermelon eating contest won by Anthony Martinez Jr. and Angel Garcia.