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Health Topics > Community > Photovoice > 1999 West County Photovoice Stories

1999 West County Photovoice Stories

Cracked Sidewalk

"This is right in front of my friend's house. It's a broken sidewalk and it should be fixed because someone could fall when they're on their skates or bikes. Someone could walk by, fall, and break a bone. The problem is here because no one has fixed it. We could call the city and tell them that they need to fix the sidewalk before someone falls and makes a complaint."
-Magdalena Ceja

Murals in Garden

"This is a beautiful site with lots of flowers. This place used to be a dumping place but people cleaned it up and grew flowers. The bars are there to protect the flowers and the murals. Youth are planting flowers and creating the murals. It used to be such a dirty place, like the picture of the dumpster in front of the house. If we keep the environment clean we will have better health. We should use this place as an example to show other people that by cleaning up, we will make the environment around us look better and we will feel better. This place exists because there are people who care about their surroundings and are willing to clean up around them. The Iron Triangle organized this. We can get in touch with them to help clean the other place. If we get all the youths to come help clean it up, we can make the county look good."
-Cheng Saechin

Young Woman Holding Baby

This is a friend of mine-a young mother with her 6 month-old baby. She was only 15 years old when she had her baby. Young mothers having babies is like children having children. She is a good mom though, but she didn't have any support of the father when she was pregnant. She looks so happy with her baby but deep down inside she hurts and is very sad. The father of the baby beat her up when she was pregnant and left her bleeding on the street. She didn't want to press charges. Now, he still beats her up and tells her that it is the only way he can show her affection. Maybe we have young sisters, daughters, and cousins that are going through the same thing but we don't know it because they are too scared. It really hurts me seeing my friend like that because she is so beautiful and she doesn't need to suffer. I think this problem exists because youths are having sex and are not using any protection. Many are probably looking for someone to look after them because their parents call them names or tell them they are never going to be anything in life. Parents need to give their kids more love and talk to them like a friend. We should support young mothers, helping them out with school and work.
- Soraida Ceja

Contaminated Drinking Fountain

This is picture taken at Grant Elementary School. I see an ugly watersink. I used to be a student there. It used to be one of the best and cleanest schools. Everybody drinks out of here. You can get bacteria, germs, and infected blood from this. This exists because people are too lazy to clean it. No one cares to clean it up. We should get the City of Richmond to get a supervisor over there to check the school. I don't want this for my kids someday. They say kids are the future of the world but they're not even taking care of this school.
- David Rivera

Young Men Playing Basketball

There are 4 people playing basketball. They are having a 2 on 2 game. It's not a professional game but they are having fun.
- Jesus Tirado

Nephew in Cap and Gown

I graduated from high school this year. This is my nephew. I think it is important for children to see us doing things that are good for us, something that will help us get ahead in life. Children do what they see adults do. Kids follow in their parents' footsteps.
-Edith Vargas

Garbage dumped in front of house

This is a picture of a house in North Richmond by Market Street, next door to a liquor store. It is a dirty place with lots of garbage. It used to be clean. People are throwing their garbage everywhere. Once a few people dumping garbage, more people started doing the same thing. Soon, it's going to be a huge dump. It might affect our health and make the city look dirty. It stinks and makes the neighborhood look bad. It probably hurts the businesses nearby too. This is happening to people because some people don't have the money to get their garbage dumped or people don't care about anything. We could have the government, the city, the county clean it up. We could talk to Jim Rodgers and make a complaint. The neighborhood could get together and organize to clean it up.
- Cheng Saechin

Family photo with "Sojourne" sign

If we have more drug and alcohol programs in the community, people would be healthier and families would stay together. People would get help. If parents got help, families would have support for staying together. We need to have more programs in the community, and advertise and educate people.
-Kearry Dickerson

Generations: What has been and what is going to be

What has been and what is going to be'-that's what I like to call this picture. My son (on the end) wants to break the cycle of our family. He wants to graduate from college. He wants to succeed. He has done a lot on his own. He's teaching me. If you don't listen to your kids, you can't learn. You hear so many negative things about young people today. I want to share that there are many young people out there that are trying. Each young person needs someone to talk to.
-Bonnie Morris


This is a sign at the Laidlaw Company. My husband got a job there. He has really excelled in his work there. I am very proud of him. Laidlaw pays for classes and training for the first 3 months. This job has totally turned around our lives. It had been hard for us to stay afloat. It is a union job and my husband is really doing well.
-Laurie Youngquist

The Boxers

This picture was painted by a disabled woman. I took this picture at the National Institute of Art and Disabilities (NIAD) in Richmond. Isn't this picture great? NIAD is a federally funded program that has a gallery and studio where developmentally-disabled adults create their artwork, where they can display and proudly talk about their work. These people are great artists. They are disabled, but that doesn't mean they aren't able to create beautiful pieces of art. The clients earn money from the sale of artwork. They are proud of this-a true build up of self-esteem and self pride. This project is important and the true expression of talent is really rewarding to see.
-Laurie Youngquist

City scene through the back window

These drivers here drive like they don't know how to drive. They drive fast and don't use their signal light. They go left and they go right, and people can get run over here. This is an everyday thing. There should be more police around in the city to watch these drivers. People should drive more carefully.
-David Rivera

Church with ringing bell

What you see is a church that is playing music. And there's a big bell where the glass is. And what you're seeing is a cross at the top of the church that tells a story in itself. I don't go to this church, but it helps me out. When the bell chimes it keeps me aware of the time. When I hear the bells, I know I have to leave to catch the bus for school. This shows the positive side of our community. We can support the church even though it's not our church.
-Nicholas Ivory

One boy batting as the other looks on

This is the Junior Giants team and shows children of North Richmond participating in an organized activity and parents of children spending quality time with them. Here you see residents of North Richmond, who usually hang out on the corner, watching their brothers and neighbors play baseball. My theme is all about recreation and the importance of recreation for our kids. Children are our most valuable resource. Children will be running the world one day. If we don't provide recreational activities for them, they will just get into trouble. Children also learn sportmanship, teamwork, and how to win and lose. In addition, they learn how to meet and associate with other people. The lack of recreation exists because people don't consider it a priority. We need to be there for the children.
-Anthony A. Hewitt, Sr.

Two-way stop sign near school

This stop sign is at one of the intersections near Verde Elementary School. There used to be more four stop signs here-for the other busier street as well. Now there are only two, this one and the one across the way. Children have to cross this busy street everyday to get to school. The cars speed by. Someone took that other set of stop signs down.
-Anthony A. Hewitt, Sr.

Girl in front of apartment

My parents live in these apartments in San Pablo. This girl lives next door to them. The people who live here pay a lot of money in rent, $500 to $600. With all the money the landlord gets, nothing gets fixed in this building. It's not safe, but some people don't know their rights. My mom spends a lot of time fixing the area up with flowers. People pass by and throw their garbage here because there's a trash bin. People tag and urinate in the garage too. It looks nasty and the walls are dirty. My dad cleans it, but the next day it's dirty. This is bad for the people who live here, but they don't have the money to move to another place, so they stay.

People who live here should keep the place clean. They could get together and make a difference. To make a change, I would first complain to the owner. If nothing happens, then I would go to the City to complain. The neighbors should clean up too. But the landlords have responsibilities. If the landlords don't listen, people should go to the City.
-Marisol Gil

Graffiti crossed out

In this picture there is gang graffiti on the side of a gas station. Now the dudes from the gas station have to paint over this because it's ugly. The owner has to spend a lot of money on fixing it. These two gangs don't get along-one put their nickname on the wall and the other gang came and crossed them out. This shows how Latinos are fighting Latinos. People come and visit relatives in Richmond and they pass by that gas station. They are going to think that the whole city of Richmond is like that. We can stop selling spray paint to teenagers or have more police on duty.
-Luis Gil

Older man on stairs

There are a lot of older people in our neighborhood. Here I see an old man who is happy. He came to ‘National Night Out' in our neighborhood. He is out on his yard everyday cleaning it up. He gives me incentive. He's been in the neighborhood for 27 years. One day I will be old and be a part of my community. I listen to older people and try to learn from them. They have come a long way and they should be taken care of.
-Bonnie Morris

Picture of Elena packing condoms

I had to make up a few hours of work at Familias Unidas. Together, we packed more than 700 condoms. These packets go to bars and high schools. My brother takes these from me to give to his baseball team. There are instructions on how to put condoms on, take them off, and tie them up. There is also information on how to clean needles. This is good information because some people don't even know how to put a condom on. It can stop people from getting HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and is good or birth control. Familias Unidas gives these condoms out for free. We need more volunteers to help out with this. We could pack more condoms and have them everywhere because people need them-if they don't use them, they could get HIV.
-Magdalena Ceja

Content provided by the Family, Maternal & Child Health (FMCH) Programs of Contra Costa Public Health Division. For more information, call 925-313-6254.

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