Crime has plummeted in a neighborhood in Oakland, California where Dan Stevenson decided to install a Buddha statue in 2009.

Dan is not at all religious but hoped that just maybe his small gesture would bring some tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime, graffiti, drug dealing and prostitution.

Soon, flowers and candles were left there as offerings and Vietnamese women began praying each morning on the sidewalk where the statue is bolted and glued down

What happened next was nothing short of stunning. The neighborhood changed. People stopped dumping garbage. They stopped vandalizing walls with graffiti. And the drug dealers stopped using that area to deal. The prostitutes went away.

The actual police statistics for that neighborhood block showed an 82 percent drop in crime since 2012 when the morning prayer sessions began.

(READ the story, with photos, in the SF Chronicle)

– Story tip from Dusky Pierce

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