Thursday, July 31, 2014

From the Los Angeles Times:

"The walls of the compound stretch over an entire city block in South Los Angeles. Given the occasional gunfire in an area that's been likened to a war zone, no one uses the doors that open onto the street in front.

But painted on the building's facade is a bright mural of children reading, using computers and shooting hoops. They jump and play on top of a layer of heavenly clouds, untouched by the kind of graffiti tagged onto the vacant county juvenile courthouse across the street.

The summer camp at the Salvation Army's Siemon Family Youth and Community Center has been a positive force in South L.A. for the last five years, Executive Director Mortimer Jones said. For him, that's signified by the nonexistent marks on the building.

More than a decade ago, before the Salvation Army moved in, "this place was covered in graffiti everywhere," Jones said of the compound. Now tagging is rare, he said, as gang members have younger siblings attending its camp. "Years ago, it was just a building on the corner of 76th and Central. And today it's this amazing oasis."

See the full story here.


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