Guardian Angels Coming To Shattered Community

9:53 PM, Apr 7, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The Southeast Washington community that's still recovering from last week's bloodshed is getting some of the help it so desperately needed, but it may not be what anyone expected.

The Guardian Angels, a group of volunteers who patrols the streets and tries to reduce crime in the process , has launched an effort in the area of the shooting rampage.

"Its a hurting thing. The pain don't go away. It stays," said Sharle Hamilton, who knows the agony of losing a child. Her 15 year-old son was murdered in Southeast. "Its been like six years for me and the pain is still here. It just hurts."

For Hamilton and others in this community, the arrival of the Guardian Angels was a welcome surprise.

"We need to take our streets back. Get our young people back," said one resident.

Daniel Dyson, a new Guardian Angels recruit, was putting up flyers and telling members of the community about the group. A 22 year-old student and homeowner, he wants to be a positive role model in a place where hope is in short supply.

"God knows who's out there that's afraid to step up and say man, I'm tired of this, I'm tired of the violence, I'm tired of sitting out on the street. Looking for the next person to pluck off and rob," said Dyson.

The Guardian Angels have no weapons, no bullet-proof vests, no funding. They're armed with a dream-to transform a shattered community.

"It'll definitely be a positive influence. I wish something like this was around when I was younger," said Darnell Yarberough, who worries about his little sister and his baby daughter.

"They know we are from the 'hood just like they are so they give us that respect," said the Guardian Angels' John Ayala. "We can come up to them and talk to them and let 'em know what's right and what's wrong."

Until then, a mother who's endured the greatest loss of all will cling to hope-that things will get better.

"I pray for the rest of the mothers," Hamilton told 9NEWS NOW.

The Guardian Angels will start their patrols on Thursday. The group is looking for new recruits to work in the area of last week's shootings.

It's a four hour a week commitment. Recruits must be 16 years old and will be trained in first aid, CPR and basic self defense.

Written by Andrea McCarren

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