WHY WE DO THIS
Our community believed 29 homicides was the worst on record for Salinas; that is until 2015, when 40 murders were committed. Salinas' homicide rate reached 26 per 100,000 in 2015, and the majority of victims were males under 23 years of age. That's significantly up from the 2014 rate of 10 per 100,000, and 17 per 100,000 in 2013. For comparison, the national average in 2014 reached 4.5 homicides per 100,000.
Why should we care? Violence in our community not only negatively impacts those directly involved with astronomical hospital costs, bodily harm, lost wages, investigation, and court costs, but violence also hinders an entire community’s potential to grow. In addition, the psychological cost of violence contributes to this economic quicksand. Increasing numbers of children and youth are being exposed to traumatic events that affect their mental health and resiliency. Due to multi-generational chronic trauma, adult family members are unable to respond to help children. Research has identified a critical set of developmental processes that are impacted by traumatic experiences, resulting in problems communicating, impacting on school readiness and performance, diminishing cognitive abilities, crippling mental disorders, and substance abuse.
Once known as a "murder capital," Salinas has seen a significant drop in homicides and youth violence in recent years. The Future Citizens Foundation contributes to the community efforts to shift social determinants of health by providing programs that contribute to economic development, violence and harm reduction, health, and educational attainment.
The First Tee of Monterey Campus and our new Center for Learning, which is located in the most distressed neighborhood of East Salinas, keeps a high percentage of the City’s vulnerable youth safe and provides supervised, healthy activities to strengthen their resilience to the gang influence and violence. Our goal is to provide programs throughout Monterey County that work to break down barriers, enables children to experience success, and supports them in planning a productive future.