HACLA Joins the Mayor, LAPD Chief and others to Kick-off Summer Night Lights


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Housing Authority President and CEO Douglas Guthrie joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) Deputy Mayor Guillermo Cepedes, 352 Youth Squad members and others in the Summer Night Lights 2012 kick-off press conference on June 27th.

Summer Night Lights (SNL) is an anti-gang initiative that keeps parks open after dark--during the peak hours for gang activity--with free food and expanded programming. The program provides extended recreational, educational and artistic programming at various sites throughout the city between 7p.m. and midnight, four days a week. It also provides at-risk youth with the opportunity for employment and professional development.

Youth Squad members undergo training on a variety of relevant topics prior to the start of the program and receive a stipend for their work implementing the programs. This year, training took place at California State University Los Angeles, providing many members with their first exposure to a college campus.

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The Housing Authority has been a supporter of the program, helping fund the program. 2012 will be the fifth consecutive year HACLA participates in the city’s SNL program. This year we will host SNL at Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, and Ramona Gardens public housing communities. In addition, Slauson Park Recreation Center will service Pueblo del Rio residents, and Costello Recreation Center will service Estrada Courts residents.

The 2012 SNL program will begin on July 7 and run through Labor Day weekend, from 7pm until midnight on Wednesdays through Saturdays.

In 2011, HACLA hosted the program at Ramona Gardens, Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts and Jordan Downs public housing communities. Throughout the city, other sites provided services as well. 1.8 million visits have been recorded since the program began in 2008. Last summer (2011), 775,000 visits were made to SNL sites.

During the implementation of the program in the summer months of 2011, communities around the strategically targeted areas experienced a 43 percent decrease in aggravated assault, 55 percent drop in shots fired and a 35 percent reduction in gang-related homicide.

This nationally recognized program was rolled out in 2008 with eight (8) parks, expanded to 16 sites in 2009, expanded to 24 in 2010 and in 2011 included 32 parks including four (4) public housing developments. SNL will operate in 32 Los Angeles City public parks in 2012 as well.

SNL is an innovative program implemented by the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) office.

Photos: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the press conference, Youth Squad members joined by (from left to right) LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, General Manager of Recreation and Parks Jon Mukri and HACLA President and CEO Douglas Guthrie

Source: Intergov and Media Relations Dept

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