Purple Heart Patient Center in the Community
Gun Buy Back Program with Youth UpRising
Purple Heart Patient Center donated $100,000.00 to fund the gun buy back program in San Francisco and Oakland. Partnered with Youth UpRising, the Oakland Police Department and the San Francisco Police Department, we were able to organize the most successful gun buy back program in California history.
Nearly 600 firearms collected during gun buybacks in Oakland and San Francisco
By Kristin J. Bender
OAKLAND -- The tally from Saturday's gun buyback in Oakland and San Francisco: 349 handguns, 149 rifles, 92 shotguns and another six guns that owners handed over without even waiting for their $200 payment.
All told, nearly 600 guns -- from vintage World War rifles to modern day assault weapons -- are now in storage waiting to be melted down and turned into light posts, park benches and stop signs.
Leaders in both cities called it their most successful buyback to date.
"This was our largest gun buyback," said Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan. "In June, I think we got 47."
In exchange for $200 cash, Oakland collected 300 guns, while San Francisco police collected 296 guns during the buyback. The weapons collected by Oakland police included handguns, three assault rifles, a rifle with a bayonet attached to it and a 3-inch Derringer pocket pistol. San Francisco collected a similar array of weapons.
City money did not fund the Saturday buyback. The program was funded by nonprofit groups and a $100,000 donation from Keith Stephenson, who runs Purple Heart Patient Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland.
Before the guns are melted down, each weapon will be logged into a database and checked to see if it is linked to a crime, police said.
The buybacks, held at St. Benedict's Church in Oakland and the Omega Boys Club in San Francisco, were planned long before Friday's mass killing at a Connecticut elementary
San Francisco police Sgt. Hector Jusino Jr. said one older woman told him that after watching the news about the Connecticut shooting, she spotted a long-forgotten shotgun in her closet and decided to get rid of it. Many people clearly had the same idea.
The buyback line in Oakland was, at one point, eight blocks long with gun owners waiting up to 4½ hours to turn in firearms. Roughly 80 people in Oakland were turned away when the event ended, but organizers made arrangements for buybacks later this week, police said. San Francisco did not turn anyone away, and some people waited more than six hours to sell their guns, Jusino said.
For the first time, representatives from the Boys & Girls Clubs and Youth UpRising in Oakland partnered with the police to check gun owners' identification Saturday to ensure that only Oakland and San Francisco residents received cash for their guns, in an attempt to avoid problems with past buyback programs.
In 2008, then-state Sen. Don Perata backed a program offering $250 for each working gun turned in, no questions asked. Gun dealers from out of state flocked to Oakland to dump useless antiques and other weapons they could not sell, defeating the buyback's intent.
Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said there will be another buyback, but a date has not been chosen.
While lauding the success of the buyback program, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan pointed out that Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco are all outpacing homicides this year compared to last year.
"It's still easier to buy a gun on the street than it is to get health care," she said.
Purple Heart Patient Center donates thousands of dollars a year to Youth UpRising.
About Youth UpRising: Our mission is to transform East Oakland into a healthy and economically robust community by developing the leadership of youth and young adults and improving the systems that impact them. Located in the heart of East Oakland, YU is a neighborhood hub offering young people services and programs to increase the physical and mental wellbeing, community connection, educational attainment, and career achievement among youth members.
Find out more about Youth UpRising here: http://www.youthuprising.org/
Omega Boys Club
Purple Heart Patient Center donates thousands of dollars a year to the Omega Boys Club.
About Omega Boys Club: Our purpose is to keep young people alive, free from violence, and free from incarceration. We do this by providing people with educational opportunities and support. Our program and services help people build positive lives and move into contributing roles in society.
Find out more about the Omega Boys Club here: http://www.street-soldiers.org
Oakland School for the Arts
Purple Heart Patient Center donates thousands of dollars a year to the Oakland School for the Arts and the Oakland School of the Arts School of Literary Arts. Purple Heart Patient Center donations helped underwrite the costs that allow OSA's young writers to staff Enizagam, a national literary journal, as well as enable multiple young people to enroll in OSA's 2012 Summer Writers' Workshops with partial or full scholarship funding.
About the Oakland School for the Arts: Oakland School for the Arts balances an immersive arts program with a comprehensive academic curriculum, providing students unique opportunities for learning, innovation, expression and personal growth. OSA’s arts and academic programs build discipline and confidence, effectively preparing creative youth to achieve their potential both in and outside of the arts. OSA attracts and retains a broad range of students drawn together by the organizing paradigm of the arts into a cohesive community. OSA's students demonstrate the value of creativity in academia. Over 95% of OSA graduates have gained admission to 4-year colleges and universities.
Find out more about Oakland School for the Arts here: http://www.oakarts.org/
Covenant House California
Purple Heart Patient Center donates thousands of dollars a year directly to the bay area program of Covenant House California.
About Covenant House California: CHC is the only free, year-round shelter in Alameda County serving homeless youth, ages 18-24. Our comprehensive services are dedicated to helping youth resolve their immediate crisis and develop the skills they need to live independent, fulfilling lives. We provide a safe home, medical and mental health care, education and employment services, housing resources and five nights a week of street outreach.
Find out more about Covenant House California here: http://covenanthousecalifornia.org/
Oakland Police Officers Association
Purple Heart Patient Center has made donations to the Oakland Police Officers Association, specifically to the families of slain officers.
Find out more about the Oakland Police Officers Association: https://www.opoa.org/
The Urban Services YMCA
Purple Heart Patient Center has donated thousands to the Eastlake YMCA.
About the Eastlake YMCA: The Urban Services YMCA has deep roots in the East and West Oakland communities. It was formed in 2004 by organizing three inner city YMCAs-Eastlake, M. Robinson Baker and the YMCA Teen Center--under a single umbrella. Now with two main facilities, M. Robinson Baker & Eastlake, Urban Services YMCA exists to serve the youth and families of Oakland’s most urban and impoverished schools and communities. Urban Services YMCA provides programs and services to educate, engage, and empower people of all ages in order to nurture the potential of every child, improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and provide support to our schools and communities. We achieve this using the YMCA’s three areas of focus: youth development and education, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Find out more about The Urban Services YMCA: http://us.ymcaeastbay.org/
Bay Area Black Nurses Association, Inc. Scholarship Fund
Purple Heart Patient Center made a large donation to the Bar Area Black Nurses Association Inc. directly towards the scholarship fund.
About the Bay Area Black Nurses Association: A professional organization of registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and nursing students who contribute to improving the quality of life of persons who share the African American heritage and other ethnic groups by recruiting, counseling and assisting African Americans interested in nursing to insure a constant procession into the nursing field.
Find out more about the Bay Area Black Nurses Association: http://www.babna.org/
Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program
Purple Heart Patient Center made a large donation to the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program in support of its Youth Basketball Program.
About the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program:
BORP is the leading provider and promoter of adaptive sports and accessible recreation for children and adults with physical disabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Find out more about the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program here: http://www.borp.org/
Eastbay Warriors Youth Football and Cheerleading Program
Purple Heart Patient Center made a large donation to help cover the costs of uniforms for the Wolverines Youth Football team.
Compton Youth Athletic Academic Association - Compton Vikings Football & Cheer
Purple Heart Patient Center made a large donation to the Compton Vikings Football and Cheer Program to help purchase much needed equipment for the organization.