PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Authorities are hoping a new measure will keep Philadelphia’s young people from getting swept up in the gun violence plaguing the city.
The city is planning on opening three evening resource centers that will connect at-risk youth to support services. This is just one of the steps the city is taking to help reduce violent crimes.READ MORE: Mets, Phillies Minor Leaguers Protest Pay With Wristbands
Gun violence is hanging a dark cloud over City Hall. With crime at an all-time high, prevention efforts are moving full speed ahead.
“This is the type of work we need to continue to do to give our young people chances and opportunities,” City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson said.
Richardson spearheaded the curfew reform bill that removed all punitive fines and penalties. Instead of taking young people that violate curfew to police stations if no adult is home, they will now take them to a resource center for support services.
“We know that hurt people hurt people so some of the life of crime and violence that our young people are engaging in around gun violence come from just feeling a sense of hurt,” City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson said.
Local leaders say this is a holistic approach to decriminalizing curfew hours.READ MORE: Official First-Edition Printed Copy Of U.S. Constitution Set To Go Up For Auction
“This is not about locking kids up. This is about identifying kids that may have challenges at home, a parent may not be in a position to take care of their kid,” City Council President Darrell Clarke said.
The resource centers will be located in the South, Southwest and East Divisions, where crime stats show high incidents of violent crimes.
A Wednesday night quadruple shooting on Germantown and Erie avenues left two men critically injured, another in stable, and an 18-year-old female – whom police believe was an innocent bystander shot in both legs. It was located in the East Division.
The centers will be open seven days a week, between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. for any teen that wants to stop in for help.
“We’ll offer groups for the young person around conflict resolution, anger management. They’ll have gaming stations if they just want to chill and relax and be a teenager,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Kimberly Ali said.MORE NEWS: COVID Outbreak At Robbinsville High School Cancels In-Person Classes For A Week
Preliminary interviews for organizations’ requests for proposals will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The application deadline is Aug. 26, and centers will open in the fall.