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Citizens Walk Oak Park To Spread Love, Curb Crime

OAK PARK (CBS13) - They are taking to the streets to give people something to believe in.

"There's people around that just needs a sense of hope. Maybe there's no hope around in the communities and we're there to provide the hope for them," said Walker Eli Elizaga.

The purpose is to show love and curb crime.

"To love on the community, to be a presence, to try and deter some of the violence, that's occurring, but really, just to be out here loving on people," said Shaunda Johnson, Lifelines of Hope.

Lifelines of Hope is now spreading this message to the Oak Park community in Sacramento. The group walks in areas plagued with violence, hoping that by making connections there will be less crime.

"We've seen a 75 percent reduction in gang violent crimes, so we know that this is a recipe that works. We want to be able to expand it and replicate it across the city," Johnson.

And they say it doesn't take much effort, from just saying hello to a simple handshake.

"Telling them, hi, how you doing? How's your day? It softens them up and from that point on you build a relationship," said Elizaga.

It's a relationship that brings about discussion, and possibly even into a full fledged friendship. And, this group says it's bringing more peace in some of the cities toughest communities.

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