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Stop the Violence Prayer Rally

You are invited to come out and show your concern.

St. Mark’s Church will be hosting a community engagement event on Martin Luther King day from 1-3 pm on the 4700 block of Griscom at Arrott Street.

There will be a separate prayer service to follow on Hawthorne Street (where the recent fatal barricade situation transpired) at 4 pm led by Pastor Richard Smith from Faith Assembly of God.

Many community groups have confirmed their attendance. The aim is to bring the community together and have the various organization engage with the community and share a little bit about what each of us does with a goal of fostering a sense of community, discussing available resources, and addressing violence, especially gun violence, in the community. The 15th District PDAC and another group will be providing refreshments.

 

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“River Never Smooth”!

We all believe in love! There’s all kinds of love – love for our family members, love for friends, even degrees of love. We look for a soul-mate; we label people as acquaintances, good friends, best friends and the ever popular, bff! We need love; we won’t thrive without it. When I was 5 years old, I was a flower girl for my Aunt Cass’s wedding. As I knelt in the first pew of the Church, I thought she would go to a Castle and we would never see her again. Her life would be a fairytale. I can tell you it was not as she lost her husband while she was pregnant with their third child.

Some very hurtful and even deadly things happen in the course of love. It’s the latter we’re going to talk about. This is not your typical Christmas feel-good-story but we need to be aware that people we know and even those we think we know may be experiencing physical, emotional and other types of abuse all in the name of love!

Fiona Harewood

Fiona Harewood can tell you about this – she has been there herself. Putting her experiences and her efforts towards regaining her own personal power and self, she has written a new book to help others. Her story is so compelling and important, we, at The Frankford Gazette are helping her to pre-launch her book, “River Never Smooth  – Reclaiming Power After Abuse”. 

A current resident of Juniata, Fiona also is a member of a local Church here in Frankford. She comes to us from the country of Guyana, officially a “Co-operative Republic”, located on the northern part of South America. The northern border of Guyana is the Atlantic Ocean. Guyana is the only country in South America where English is the official language. She would also live for a time in Barbados until 2001 when she came to the United States.

This is not her first book. She also wrote, “I DID IT…You Can, Too”, and in it, Fiona challenges “drop outs to become dreamers”. She knows what she’s talking about – she was a failure during High School, completing only one CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) in English Literature. Once she arrived in the United States and had to clean homes to make ends meet, she knew her way forward would be to finish her education. At 44, she returned to school and after 3 1/2 years, graduated magna cum laude with a degree from Pierce in Paralegal Studies. Another 18 months and Fiona completed the work necessary to receive a Masters in Public Policy from Drexel University. Kudos to you, Fiona. Her education would serve her well. She then wanted to encourage others who, for one reason or another, did not complete their education. Also, she wanted to encourage those students already in school to stay there. She has spoken at schools and other organizations sharing the wisdom that she has earned and learned.

Which brings us to her newest book about to be released. In “River Never Smooth – Reclaiming Power After Abuse”, Fiona is once again sharing her own personal story that is also a national issue affecting millions. In speaking with Fiona, she shared with me the following facts. Did you know that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in just one single year? Or that more than 12 million men, women and children are affected by varying forms of abuse over a year? Abuse has many types, not just physical. There is emotional, mental, sexual and financial abuse just to name a few. Also, we know that there is not just one type of abuser or one gender alone responsible for such violence.

In her book, Fiona uses her storytelling abilities to illustrate for us what abuse can look like and why some people don’t even feel they’re being abused. In telling her story, Fiona has structured “River Never Smooth” into 4 parts.

Part 1 is “Bad Choices” that many of us make. We have family and friends who try to tell us but do we at least consider what they have to say? This is so important for our teenagers and young adults who need to understand that people who try to point them in the right direction care and are only trying to help. It is very important to listen and learn from other people’s experience as opposed to living their tragic circumstances. We must be ready to accept that this is an abusive relationship and be ready to change it. This can take a long time.

Part 2 tells us about “Starting Over” and this is where friends and families can help victims of domestic violence and abuse. You can’t do this alone. Sometimes, it requires much more than empathy. If we truly want to help someone “escape” their situation, we need to be ready to help them financially, and otherwise, until they can get back on their feet. We know that, especially in the case of women, the choice is to stay with an abuser because of financial needs.

Part 3 explains to us that “Repeating Mistakes” is something that will happen. It takes time, practice and real awareness to choose those who are worthy of your trust and your love. Once you’ve been hurt, literally, it will be a while before you will see as clearly as you need to in choosing friends or partners.

Part 4 leads us to “The Decision and Getting It Right”. Hopefully, you will be stronger by the time you get there and experiencing a sense of power. No matter how many times we have failed or given love to people who will end up hurting us, there is one who truly does loves us unconditionally and that is God. You have got to rely on God’s help for strength, for the commitment you need not to be drawn into what is almost a second nature – putting others first. This is about you and what is best for you!  Surprising as it may seem, you must also forgive your abuser before you can fully heal. Overall, after reading “River Never Smooth”, you will:

  • Identify abuse and know how to deal with it;
  • Know when to move on;
  • Live a life free of regrets; and
  • Rise above your circumstances and emerge an overcomer.

“EMBRACE YOUR PAST, THEN TOSS IT!”

In conversations with her Mother, Fiona shared with me that her Mother once told her, “Your life reminds me of a river – a river never smooth”. Fiona credits her mother with naming the book. For some people, that’s so true. But, like Fiona, we can take that “never smooth river” and redirect it for our own good and to help others traveling that same river.

I feel that Fiona and her story is a very, very powerful one that needs to be told and heard. Look below for an upcoming Global Launch Party on January 26, 2020. You can register for this Launch experience at this link – https://www.fionaharewood.com/river-never-smooth

Dating Abuse Statistics. https://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/dating-violence-statistics/, Accessed October 13, 2019. National Domestic Violence Hotline. Get the Facts & Figures. https://www.thehotline.org/ resources/statistics/, Accessed October 13, 2019.

 

 

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4800 Block of Griscom is a window into the city’s battle against gun violence

Mike Newall from the Inquirer did a very good story on my old neighbors on the 4800 block of Griscom.

The problems there are pretty well know but solutions have not been forthcoming.  The neighbors decided to try something new.

Every block has its rhythms. For so long, on the 4800 block of Griscom Street in Frankford, the daily rhythms were decided by drug dealers: a group of about 20 men who, on hot summer days, often stood in the shade under the trees near the Alonzos’ house, where Saul, a 33-year-old construction worker from Guatemala, lives with his wife and two young daughters.

Like other parents on Griscom, Alonso told his children the gunshots they heard were fireworks.

Read the rest of the story at his link.

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15th District PSA1 March Meeting

See Something, Say Something.

The PSA1 meeting at Frankford Jefferson on Thursday, March 21st had some neighbors come out to hear from 15th District Commander John Walker and area Lt. John Venit discuss the PPD’s efforts in our area.

With the exception of Aggravated Assault, Violent Crimes are down. Narcotics Task Force “SURGE” patrols have been effective, but property crimes are on the rise due mostly to the market for Catalytic converters.

There are still some issues but all are asked to report any Activity to the proper authorities,  PHILLY311 for L & I issues and other City Agencies, or Email the Lt. or 15th District Community Relations Officer for Crime related.   See Something, Say Something.

Also, the PPD will be arranging another Civilian Police Academy class, come out and see the How & Why of Police Service in Philadelphia.

The next 15th District PSA1 meeting will be held on April 18th at 7 PM at Jefferson Frankford Hospital, 4900 Frankford Avenue.

Reported by Patrick Hodynski

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15th Police District PSA1 Meeting

PSA 15-1 Meeting at Jefferson-Frankford Hospital

The meeting on February 21st had District Commander John Walker, PSA1 Lead Lieutenant Venit, and the newly appointed Community Relations Officer Mc Laughlin all telling us that the PPD has been instituting some New approaches to battle our local crime problems.
Captain Walker stated that when Spring arrives we will see more Foot and Bike Patrols.  Some Neighbor issues included the push of some drug dealers is now causing issues for other areas. Please do not let them get settled into a new area, REPORT all new issues to the PPD, (via 911), any further issues could be submitted to Philly 311 and your local Town Watch Teams, Contact Town Watch Integrated Services to see how and who to send those reports.
There were further reports about drug dealers, and others seen entering and setting up in distressed, or unattended properties, please report any in your area.
But overall, things are coming back with Frankford, all thanks to new community-minded residents and Police Command.
The next meeting of the 15th Police District PSA1 will be on March 21st at 7 PM at Jefferson Frankford Hospital, 4900 Frankford Avenue.
Reported by: Chaplain Patrick, Frankford Community Ambassador