OAKLAND -- The holiday season is always difficult for families who have had a loved one die, but for those who have lost someone to violence it can be a heavier burden.

That is the main reason the Khadafy Foundation for Non-Violence, of Oakland, a highly regarded victims' advocacy group, is holding its annual survivors gathering Thursday night for families and friends of homicide victims and others with emotional issues to show support and comfort them.

The gathering will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Buttercup Grill, 229 Broadway in Jack London Square.

Marilyn Washington Harris, who started the foundation after the killing of her 18-year-old son, Khadafy Washington in 2000, said whether someone is still grieving a dead relative, suffering depression or anxiety or have other concerns, they are welcome. "We are not turning anyone away, even if they just want to talk to someone and get some advice," Harris said.

Harris, who has aided and comforted thousands of relatives of homicide victims over the years said, "It's an emotional time of the year. People can use all the help and support they can get." Harris said she and other people associated with the foundation who will be present "are not therapists, but we have learned from experiences of our own. If we can provide a service or just some emotional support, we want them to come."

Snacks and refreshments will be served, however, participants can also pay for dinner themselves. For more information, call 510-830-8616 or 510-410-4601.