Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter recognizes The S.O.G. Crew (Thump Records/ Universal Music Group) for their contribution to the November 18th Chinatown Block Party that helped bring the community together. On Saturday, The Peace on the Streets Team was in Chinatown to bring a message of hope to the homeless, who congregate in one of Salinas' most notorious neighborhoods.
Groups, city and county officials, nonprofits and churches turned the Chinatown area into a block party Saturday, with food, music, booths, and donations. As of about 12:30 p.m., 200 people had stopped by the guest check-in booth staffed by Peace on the Streets, a group that includes the event's co-organizer, Debbie Martin.
Martin's road was similar in a way: Support, from friends, volunteers, and loved ones, brought her back, she said. Indeed, 26 years ago, she was just "hanging out" on the corner of Soledad Street and Market Way in Chinatown.
Her mother was at the other end of Soledad Street with her church, Martin said.
"When you have a mother's prayer, you change everything," Martin said.
The homeless count is up by 23% in Monterey County, according to the 2017 Monterey County Homeless Census Report, a biennial report released by the Coalition of Homeless Service Providers, a Marina-based nonprofit that oversees services in Monterey and San Benito Counties.
"Thanks to Mother Debbie Martin for inviting The S.O.G. Crew to Salinas. In the past, we have partnered together to reach Castroville, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Debbie brought us in because she knew that we have helped fight homeless issues in Denver, Hawaii, Nashville, Atlanta, Los Angeles Skid Row, and so many other communities throughout the United States including Native American Nations battling with the same issues. My wife Melissa and I are very grateful for all the hard working volunteers that took time to give back.
People see the Hip-Hop performances by 12th Tribe from Bakersfield and The S.O.G. Crew. The News cameras highlight the passing of food to the homeless, the community listens to great speeches, and some get ministered to by the testimonials. What people don't see is the number of Hepatitis 'A' cases related to the statewide outbreak that's so far killed 20 people in San Diego County and has risen in Monterey County from one to four in the last two weeks. Hepatitis A is spread when the virus is ingested after it was contaminated with feces of an infected person. A Hepatitis 'A' case was discovered a few days before the event in Chinatown. Everything had to get sprayed down including the people, volunteers, and the street corners where the homeless live at.
We salute the city of Salinas for working hard to make sure the event continued as scheduled. Families were touched, homeless people came to the Lord, and lives were changed forever. Thanks to Salinas Mayor the honorable Joe Gunter for this recognition," noted Dr. Robert 'Battle Ax' Ornelas front man for The S.O.G. Crew