Concerned SD Resident, you are absolutely correct on the concerns you’ve expressed, the first issue being the more difficult one. This is where I recognize that others need to get involved to reach positive change, that it’s about more than a new street or apartment complex, but about people and their daily needs. About four years ago, Casa Familiar re-engaged in developing programming for youth to be able to provide another option for active, positive involvement in youths’ lives, particularly young women. It developed a program that is still running today called “Young Leaders,” which brings in guest speakers and addresses youth issues. The program involves youth in community events like the community Thanksgiving dinner that will be held at Casa on November 20th where the biggest volunteers are our youth. 

During that first year there was also a trial program called “Girls Group” that was formed to try to figure out where young girls in the community were with respect to their own self image. This also brought in knowledge through other groups like the San Ysidro Health Center, the schools and other programs. Speaking from the information that was relayed to me, the program was a hit, but it was also a difficult balance — providing information on some very difficult issues. I know that Casa Familiar leadership would like to continue to provide youth programming, but unfortunately it has proven difficult to fund.

It’s funny how people around the community still call it “the city of San Ysidro,” I used to immediately correct folks, now I’m much more sensitive about it. But this being a part of the city of San Diego is one of the main reasons why I’ve been active in the planning group for eight years now and continue to want to see some of the work that the committee has done in the ground. We always make a case for fairness for San Ysidro community and recreation centers and other infrastructure and we make sure we are getting our fair share and that other communities also begin to take on theirs.

Finally, I always invite concerned residents to become involved or active, even if it is just with one issue, because without that person’s help, one more thing would continue to remain an issue.

— DAVID FLORES

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