The Buckner Family Hope Center® at Bachman Lake and the Dallas Police Department's UNIDOS program recently hosted "Popsicles with Police." This fun event featured children's games, learning activities for younger children and teens and a way to beat the heat and break the ice - popsicles.
UNIDOS is a Latino community outreach program designed to assist Spanish-speaking residents in Dallas. The program provides resources and information to promote safer neighborhoods and a better quality of life. The UNIDOS team is led by Sgt. Edward Reyes.
The Bachman Lake community is 93% Hispanic, is home to the most children ages 0 to 5 years old in Dallas, and 93% of its school-aged children are economically disadvantaged. Creating a safe, casual environment for families to interact with the Dallas police department offers a space for them to ask questions and get to know the officers without any added fear or pressure.
"This is one of many initiatives we're doing throughout the summer to engage the community," Reyes shared. "Break the ice but at the same time, provide resources like crime tips and other information that can help them."
The UNIDOS team provided safety locks, information on calling 911, the dangers of drugs and more. More than 50 families attended and were able to enjoy fellowship with the Dallas police officers and local neighborhood police, as well as get to know the staff at the Family Hope Center.
"Part of what we love to do is work with other community partners to offer opportunities for our local families, and remind them that we're open and here for them," said Miguel Arzate, Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake community coordinator.
The Family Hope Center frequently offers local events to engage the community through assistance, education and more. Beyond that, families have the opportunity to plug into the programs available and receive education, financial empowerment, counseling, and even child and youth development and spiritual development.