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Heart, Hope and Health | Dr. Parviz Akhavan chose to work here in South Central Los Angeles because he believes this is where he can truly help the community. He bought the space located on 723 E. Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles for a nine year lease and is planning on staying as long as possible. His nurses say he is constantly working and that he will do anything and everything to make sure that a patient is seen.

Eating Good in the Neighborhood | The locals in the area each rated the market or store where they had just purchased food items, discussing their opinion on the quality of the health food items the location had to offer. Depending on the location or what exactly the customer expected from that vendor, whether it be convenience or better prices, that ratings varied substantially among each person. The aforementioned customers gave the strongest opinions.

Local Markets | Local markets like these are very popular amongst the neighborhood residents, although they do not offer the healthy foods that they advertise on their storefront windows. "I come here for school supplies and quick things, like milk. Not my real food," says Marcelo Chavez, one of the store's many customers.

Bringing Health to His Neighborhood
Dr. Parviz Akhavan is well-known member of the medical community and is applauded for his dedication to his work. Each client expressed gratitude for his wonderful generosity and his willingness to work close to their homes.
An Alternative Family
Mount Carmel Park is more than just a safe haven to keep kids busy and off the streets after school, the staff and those who have grown up at the park are a family. Cesar Ramirez, the park’s director, creates an environment where his team has the freedom to do their jobs and the kids get the perfect balance of discipline and love.
Variations in Education
Fremont High School and South Region High School #2 may only be a few blocks away but they are worlds apart. The students at Fremont and dealing with no supplies and a rundown campus while SRHS #2 have new facilities and will be getting iPads next year. These two schools are both in LAUSD but receive different funding.
Golden Boxing
Alejandro has been working at Golden Boxing for three months now and through his job, he is dedicated to helping the community better themselves.

By Chelsea Goss

“People say it smells like bleach cleaner or Clorox. They don’t like it so they try to buy as much water from here as possible,” says Angel Ernandez, a clerk at Junior Market off Main Street.

Just seconds after explaining why so many local markets advertise selling fresh, clean water in large five gallon jugs in their stores, a large SUV pulls up with a trunk full of empty gallons, waiting for Angel’s help. As he is working, he continues to explain that the water system in their neighborhood has been like this for twenty years or more, and that people have become incredibly used to it by now.

“Yea, it’s hard to be healthy all the time, but people are buying their water because it is healthier and it has been through a filter like five times, which means it should be better for them,” says Angel.

The general consensus among the store clerks and customers at the several different small markets within the area is that the pungent smell of the water is the primarily problem, immediately followed by the strange taste. Erlinda Villa, a 19- year-old clerk, says she has lived in the area her entire life and has always known the chloric smell of the water.

“My mom has always come to these stores to buy our drinking water. It’s been that way ever since I was little,” she says.

She says she says people coming in all the time simply to fill up water. One customer comes in to fill up nineteen, five-gallon jugs, once every two weeks! But most families settle on filling five, five gallon jugs, which seems to sustain the typical households drinking water intake.

The residents of the area are frustrated by all of the aspects of living a healthy lifestyle that are ignored in their neighborhood. They say it is unfair that there is no one making sure there water is clean and fresh so that they can clean their food and pour glasses of water and simply live their lives without worrying whether or not their water will be a source of health problems.

“We want more qualified water. How can we be healthy if our water tastes and smells terrible. People have to go out and gallons and gallons of water simply because it’s the only type of water they can find that s filtered,” says Jose Ramierz, a customer at one of the markets.

Luckily, the price of water is not any where near the price of gold. Erlinda says people can fill up several jugs of water to supply their family for less than ten dollars a week. But eventually, the cost does add up when in comparison, it could have been free.

“Someday I hope that someone does something about it. I want my children to have clean water and to live healthy lives. I know people are much healthier now because they are drinking the filtered water and it is better for you and better for your body, but I want our own water,” says Angel.