2007-08-17 / Columnists

Weed And Seed Report

By Denean Ferguson, Weed And Seed Site Coordinator

The Weed and Seed Steering Committee has approved a project to do workshops in the local developments on the peninsula. We need your help to make the undertaking a success!

The purpose of Project Neighbor H.E.L.P. is to take the message of peace and the value of life to the young adults in our developments. We do not simply want to preach peace, but to deliver services that will aid them in changing their current debilitating modus operandi.

There are varying underlying reasons why a young person resorts to criminal mischief and violence. Regardless of the degree of conduct, almost invariably the root cause can be traced to the home environment. The perpetrator received little or no discipline, no expression of love, and no positive role model to emulate. Not opinion, but statistics, reveals that a missing father erodes selfesteem.

This is not to justify criminal behavior, and indeed, our society has agreed to separate the lawless from the law abiding. Nevertheless, something else is needed to break the cycle.

Law enforcement's response is to exert punitive corrective action, which does not address the cause of behavior or promote rehabilitation in the individual.

The young adult must, and does, have some lack or need that is crying to be met. If a robbery is committed to gain food, it can be hypothesized that if given food, then there would be no robber.

A true case, as an example - a young adult female was asked, "why do you fight?" Her response was, "so that others could feel the pain she felt."

There is no cure all or quick fix. It would be naive to think that any one method will provide the perfect solution. We are mere mortals endeavoring to make a difference and teach our young adults self-worth and the path to enjoy the brevity of life.

There are a myriad of service providers, right here on the peninsula. We want to seek out representatives involved in the fields of education, health, job readiness and parent mentoring, as well as drug, gang, and prison counselors, and members of the clergy, to join our crusade into each development, including Redfern, Edgemere, Arverne, Beach 41st, Carlton Manor, and Hammels.

We'd like to visit each development on Thursdays or Fridays before the end of the summer. We will be at Redfern Houses on Friday, August 10 from 3 - 6 p.m.

Please call me at 646-552-8453 with your support or suggestions, so that, together, we can be a part of the solution!

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