The following press released was included in the June 15 "The Week There Was" report issued by th City of Union City. It has been lightly edited for Patch style:
As part of the strategy to reduce youth violence in Union City, Youth & Family Services (YFS) staff, led by Lead Outreach Worker John Cabrera, has reached out to local clergy to engage the faith community.
On June 2, 2012, YFS staff assisted the Union City Pastor's Alliance in a Prayer March in the Decoto neighborhood. The walk started at the on 10th Street and proceeded towards ‘H’ and 14th Streets (the location of ).
The objective was to create a more pro-active community in the campaign against violence. Marchers were a very diverse group reflective of the increasing diversity in Decoto: Hispanic, Filipino, and Vietnamese residents participated.
The UC Pastor's Alliance walked to promote spiritual leadership and community support by offering alternatives for families in crisis. Marchers stopped at the areas most affected by violence and offered prayer, testimonies of young people no longer living the street life, and a call to the community to stand up and reclaim their neighborhoods. The response to this march has been gratifying, with several families re-connecting with their faith at Victory Outreach (Fairway Park), and another family holding in-home bible studies later that week.
The march also featured the Riders Out of Darkness Motorcycle Club (from Victory Outreach), whose presence had a big impact (note: this motorcycle club appeared in the "Sons Of Anarchy" CATV series and got much attention from the families in the community). Many people joined in the march and were very surprised at the seven pastors walking with everyone.
All in all, the event was a great change for that neighborhood.
The next UCPA Prayer March is being planned for after the 4th of July