WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – We’ve been talking about Hope For The Hood Ministry and their mission to unite neighborhoods for the past month. With the recent gang violence, the ministry decided to take to the streets with weekly prayer walks, reaching out to the community to educate them on their resources while promoting their first peace event “Hood Fest” which took place this weekend.
“This is about undoing what we did back in the day,” said organizer, Beni Santibenez. “In the 90’s we started the gang activity around here. We are the reason they stopped throwing fiestas on the North and the South side so, our event is all about bringing unity back into the community.”
Saturday, Hope For The Hood jump-started their efforts at Planeview Park where nearly 500 people showed up. The event offered a break-dancing competition, jalapeno eating contests, free haircuts, toy drives, and even a clothing give away for those in need. There was a lot of volunteer support to put the event together, including vendors like Allied Health, who gave away nearly $1500 in scholarship money.
“Part of our mission at allied is to give back to our community,” said Allied Health representative, Susan Nienhaus at the Evergreen event Sunday. “We want everybody to be successful and we do whatever it takes for them to be successful.”
Sunday the ministry took their hope to Evergreen recreational center where nearly 300 showed up.
“I’m really glad to see everyone here today,” said Angel Martinez. “This isn’t just about uniting neighborhoods, it’s also about establishing and building a good relationship with law enforcement.”
Law enforcement was present at both the Planeview and Evergreen event.