San Antonio organization partners with Houston program to improve safety on West Side
SAN ANTONIO- Safe Walk Home Northside in Houston is now making its way to San Antonio. They’re partnering with San Antonio’s West side community organization I-WatchSA-D5. The organization invited the Houston based group to tour areas of concern surrounding schools on the West side.
The Houston group is composed of volunteers like Rosa Medrano.
“It's a miracle, it's a blessing knowing that our organization is coming to another city,” Medrano said.
Volunteers safely walks kids to and from school in a high crime area in Houston, similar to San Antonio's West Side.
The group formed after the death of 11-year-old Josue Flores. He was stabbed to death in May 2016 while walking home from school.
Founder Stella Mireles-Walters said the two areas are like 'sister barrios'.
“The crime rate is very comparable to our crime rate,” Mireles-Walters said.
Statistics show just in January of last year; more than 190 crimes were committed in a two-mile radius from a SAISD school compared to Houston’s more than 60 crimes that were committed in the area where Josue was murdered.
“This never should have happened,” said Carlota Casiano, a volunteer from Houston.
Casiano not only knew Josue but lives in the area where he was killed.
“I've walked that neighborhood, I live in that neighborhood,” Casiano said.
Casiano said she sees how beneficial a program like Safe Walk Home Northside in Houston would be for not just the West side but all of San Antonio.
“We are able to come together watch the kids after school and make sure another Josue Flores story doesn't happen again,” Casiano said.
If you would like to get involved or learn more, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 979-721-1628.