By Elizabeth Glavish
Safe Streets, a non-profit that operates in Tacoma and Pierce County, is excited to invite the community to join them this October for a series of Restaurant Takeover fundraising events. Local eateries will be opening their doors in support of Safe Streets, with proceeds from the evening going towards funding the organization’s community and youth programs.
“To date, Safe Streets has organized and trained a network of 120 community groups involving over 14,000 neighborhood leaders and 190,000 residents in high-risk neighborhoods,” said Traci Kelly, Development Associate for Safe Streets. “It is only through the support of our community that we are able to achieve such incredible results and help people take charge and make change in their neighborhoods.”
That’s what happened in Alex’s neighborhood. A few years ago Alex’s neighborhood was being terrorized by a group of teens. They would egg houses, pepper cars with paintball guns, steal mail and destroy property.
Luckily Alex’s next door neighbors, Dave and Cathy, were Safe Streets Neighborhood Group leaders. They worked to help the neighbors organize and connect with Tacoma police to find the perpetrators. The vandals were soon caught and the neighborhood was once again peaceful. The residents were also confident they would know how to respond if something like this ever happened again.
Stories like this are common at Safe Streets Restaurant Takeovers, where attendees have the opportunity to meet their neighbors and learn how ordinary people can help put an end to crime in their neighborhoods.
For people like Jose Delgado, the leader of the Mann Neighborhood Block Watch, events like the Restaurant Takeovers are essential to building community.
“We have become so isolated, refusing to see beyond our own backyards,” said Delgado. “That is how criminal elements take over a neighborhood. It is only when we come together and get to know and care about each other that we can start making a difference.”
This year Safe Streets will be partnering with both Reyna’s Family Mexican Restaurant in Parkland and the Hosmer Round Table Pizza in Tacoma for these takeovers. Each location will recognize the Safe Streets cause by contributing a portion of profits from sales occurring between 5:00 pm and closing to the organization.
For a complete event schedule, please visit the Safe Streets website.