THE HISTORY OF L.O.V.E.
L.O.V.E. (Let Our Violence End) was founded in 1994 as a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization at the peack of Central Arkansas's gang activity. The initial goal was to train youth as peer mentors to counter gang recruiting and school violence. Word of the program's success spread and many Central Arkansas schools enlisted L.O.V.E. to train adults and youth in pro-social peer support initiatives that addressed youth violence. Over time, the Little Rock School District engaged L.O.V.E. to develop in-school-suspension, alternative school re-entry, juvenile detention re-entry, after school and bullying programming.
In 2009, L.O.V.E. was awarded funding from the Department of Justice to build a collaborative network for coordinating resources, mentoring and prevention, intervention and re-entry support for youth in Central Arkansas. Since that time, over 40 organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Centers for Youth & Families, Goodwill, churches, schools, business and community leaders have joined this coalition.
In 2003, L.O.V.E. opened the Healing Waters Outreach Center in Southwest Little Rock to better establish our physical presence in the neighborhood where so many of the youth and families we work with actually live. Healing Waters started out serving a handful of families through its food pantry. In 2006, we opened up the LOVE Rocks indoor skate park and recreation center to provide a safe haven for area youth to congregate. Today, Healing Waters/LOVE Rocks is serving over 1200 families per month. In addition to the food pantry, which is now providing 180 food boxes to area families each week, we also serve a home cooked lunch each Sunday in our cafe for over 200 people. When families come to the food pantry, they are given free coupons to "spend" in our thrift shop supplied by donations from two local Wal-Mart stores, Feed the Children and individual donors.