New Violence Prevention Center Opens
Mayor calls it a "gigantic step" for the South Side.
La Luz del Mundo Family Services has opened a violence prevention and intervention center on the South Side in an effort to address domestic and street violence that can besiege a family and the community.
The center, at 1570 W. Greenfield Ave., will offer support groups and classes intended to foster more peaceful households and neighborhoods.
Mayor Tom Barrett called the creation of the center a “gigantic step for the community,” during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The center is proof that “we can provide a place for people to empower themselves to have better lives,” he said.
The project to open the center began two years ago when Patricia Ruiz-Cantu, the center’s executive director, approached officials at La Luz del Mundo Church, 1316 S. Cesar E. Chavez Dr., to explain that domestic violence services were not available on the south side of the city.
“There are a lot of services available in other parts of the city, but nothing on the south side,” Ruiz-Cantu said.
La Luz del Mundo Family Services will host support groups in Spanish and English for perpetrators. The group setting allows perpetrators to discuss anger management, the pressures that come with being a parent and in a relationship, and their past encounters with violent individuals.
The center will also host support groups where father and mothers will be able to hone their parenting skills and learn methods to create healthier relationships.
The cheerful 1,500-square-foot center, which is a product of hundreds of volunteer hours, will also provide services for children who have witnessed violence, a college-preparation center and community rooms.
Ruiz-Cantu said the group meetings and educational opportunities will focus on street violence as well.
“For me, the (center) means a better neighborhood,” said Jose Lopez, 52, a volunteer at the center, who added that its opening sends a message to those who create violence in the neighborhood. “If they come through (our) doors, they are more than welcome, no questions asked.”
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Jan 24th, 2015 by Molly Rippinger
A new chocolate company is among the small businesses attracted to Lisbon Avenue.
Jan 23rd, 2015 by Edgar Mendez
Tammy Rivera replaces Steve Fendt, who was dismissed by board after 22 years of service.
Jan 21st, 2015 by Brendan O’Brien
Officers say they feared for their safety. Reporter says he feels threatened by police.
Jan 19th, 2015 by Molly Rippinger
But only Jeff Spence and Board President Michael Bonds face opponents in spring election.
Jan 16th, 2015 by Matthew Wisla
The non-profit Riverworks has become a key force in urban development, and will be part of Kresge grant won by GMC.
Jan 15th, 2015 by Andrea Waxman
Small Business Administration's "street-wise" MBA trains people to run their own businesses.