As hot dogs sizzled on the grill and children ducked through the crowd laughing, Operation H.O.O.D. Director Derick Latif Scott proudly welcomed the group assembled to celebrate the grand opening of their new Coney Island location.
Operation H.O.O.D. (Helping Our Own Develop) was founded in 2015 as a project of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI). Since it’s inception, Operation H.O.O.D., under the leadership of its visionary Program Director, Derick Latif Scott, has had phenomenal success in changing behaviors toward gun violence and mobilizing the community to raise awareness about violence and promote community norms that reject violence.
Now Operation H.O.O.D. has opened a new, 3,000 square foot community center at 2811 Mermaid Avenue. Outfitted with games, a pool table, an exercise room, and space for community youth to “drop-in”, the new center will facilitate continued success for the dedicated Operation H.O.O.D. team. Using the model of the national Cure Violence Program, Operation H.O.O.D. utilizes extraordinarily skilled “credible messengers” and offers services including outreach, mediation, mentoring, and community education at its Mermaid Avenue walk-in center. It utilizes partners with faith-based leaders and community-based organizations. Uniting the community with rallies and marches helps raise awareness and promotes community norms that reject violence.