A young girl walks with a rake after a neighborhood cleanup pre-COVID in the Washington neighborhood in Long Beach. / Una joven camina con un rastrillo después de una limpieza antes del COVID pandemia en el vecindario de Washington en Long Beach. Photo courtesy of / Foto cortesía de Jesus Esparza.

Along with live music performances, games and free giveaways, a block party hosted at 14th Street Park this weekend in the Washington neighborhood will also offer health and wellness resources for local residents.

The Washington Neighborhood Association, in conjunction with local nonprofits, will host the block party Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Cedar Avenue and W. 14th Street.

“It’s very important, this event, for our community so that our children feel safe and free to be out in the street without fear,” Jesus Esparza, president of the neighborhood association and a Washington resident, said in Spanish.

Residents of the Washington neighborhood have experienced a chain of violent shootings this summer and were caught in the middle of a police pursuit that ended in a crash on the street where Esparza lives.

“All departments from the city, including the police, and the community need to be in communication to improve and maintain our community safer, cleaner, healthy and united,” he said.

The block party will also host a mobile vaccine clinic for residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Long Beach Health and Human Services department is sponsoring the block party in response to the significant spike in violence throughout the city, according to a press release from the neighborhood groups.

Courtesy flyer.