Updated: Jun 7
On the first Friday of summer break for many Denver students, leaders are taking a revamped approach to help curb youth violence in the city.
DENVER (CBS4) – On the first Friday of summer break for many Denver students, leaders are taking a revamped approach to help curb youth violence in the city.
“I get to hang out, meet new people,” said 14-year-old Chantelle Turner.
The Struggle of Love Foundation is giving an overhaul to the Denver Parks and Recreation’s “Night Moves” program, providing a fun, safe space for teens every Friday throughout not just the summer, but the rest of the year. As the temperature increases, often so does the crime.
“I think we’re in for one of the worst summer’s we’ve ever had,” said Jason McBride, the Struggle of Love secondary violence prevention specialist.
Keziah Hodge, 20, grew up in Montbello. She worries about the youth violence that lingers in her community.
“Like my younger sister, I do worry for her a lot, just with all the knuckleheads running around,” Hodge said.
While Night Moves events will happen at five of the city’s recreation centers, Struggle of Love and other local groups will specifically be working at the Montbello Recreation Center. McBride told CBS4 it’s an area that continues to be at risk.
“It’s been bad out here in Green Valley and Montbello, so we have to try different things,” said McBride. “It just depends on how many kids we can consistently get here. We’re going to change up everything, every week. We’re not going to have the same activities. We’ll have movies on the inside, we’ll have financial literacy courses, we’ll have entrepreneur courses, a DJ, food, other things going on out there, talking to the kids asking them what they want.”
An initiative hoping to meet youth where they are, doing things they enjoy, giving kids a safe space this summer to be kids.
“There’s youth, young people dying out here for no reason,” said 12-year-old Daisy Sanchez. “We’re all a community and we’re all the same people.”