OAKLAND -- Residents frustrated with their neighborhoods being overrun by prostitutes and drug dealers or users may soon turn to a higher power than police.
A local pastor is working to establish a special hot line that would dispatch street-savvy evangelists to the hood's hot spots. Their mission would not only be to save souls, but to find jobs for those who often have to hustle in the so-called underground economy to survive.
"We call ourselves the ASK Force," said the Rev. James A. Long Jr., the 42-year-old pastor who has been preaching the gospel for three years now at True Faith Baptist Church, 626 West Grand Ave. "ASK stands for Anointed Spiritual Kinsmen, and you can read about the kinsmen in your Bible."
The church is seeking donations so the ASK Force can hire interns from the streets who would go to work for local businesses.