PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city of Philadelphia is investing tens of millions of dollars into the community as part of its strategy to reduce the gun violence. Some of that money is being used to create safe havens for children and the community.
Breaking ground on the future Olney Recreation Center.READ MORE: Police: Man, 2 Children Injured In Crash In Willingboro
“The people who live in this community get a sense of pride and hope despite the challenge that we face as it relates to the gun violence epidemic that this city is now facing,” City Councilmember Cherelle Parker said.
With a rash of shootings, the community hopes this new center will help curb the violence, even if it’s one small step at a time.
“With what’s going in Philadelphia right now, we definitely need to give our kids a safe haven,” said Kahisha Taylor with the Olney Eagles Youth Organization.
“It’s critically important. Kids need a safe place to play and be around positive adults. They need a place they are attracted to,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.READ MORE: Big Decision Looming For SEPTA Employees As Union Fights For Better Wages For Its Workers
The future rec center will have state-of-the-art facilities, something the Olney Eagles always hoped for.
“The Olney Eagles go and play in the suburbs with the field that has locker rooms and showers, snack bars and everything else, and then they come here and we are not close to it,” Kenney said.
In the meantime, the Philadelphia City Council is working to buy new surveillance cameras for city rec centers to help police tackle crime too.
But as the construction gets underway, it’s safe to say the kids who will be using it are excited.MORE NEWS: Flames Put Out After Tearing Through Mount Laurel Home
The entire rec center should be done in about a year and a half.