Club Kids Hopes to Rehab Northside Rec Center for Children
Club Kids 414, Club Kids in Danger Saved, Inc. has been putting on events to keep kids off the streets for twenty years, but they have to rent out buildings, churches or parks to do so.
The Club Kids Executive Director, Marcus Duke, wants to make a building on the city's north side the club's permanent home. He is leasing a space on the corner of 24th and North, but he says it can't be used in its current state.
"Roofing work, HVAC work, we need painting, flooring," said Duke.
Those are just a few things that need to be renovated in the building before it can become a rec center and theater for kids in the neighborhood. The building and haven in the 53206 zip code is needed according to Duke.
"It's the highest neighborhood for incarceration of black men. So, a lot of the kids don't have dad at home," said Duke.
The building is 10,000 square feet, and will serve as a creative outlet in different ways for the kids. There are plans for a DJ booth and a stage is already built in. He says it could help as many as 1,000 kids a month stay off the streets.
"We have to have a place where kids can come and be safe," said Duke.
The goal is personal for Duke.
"I grew up in the gangs selling drugs; all the bad stuff... had kids and I realized I had to stop this," said Duke.
After turning his life around he knew he wanted to help kids. The main goal of the center is to keep kids off the street, give them a safe place to go, and serve as a creative outlet.
"I see hundreds of kids in here daily -- running around, playing, having fun," said Duke.
Club Kids has already had success.
"We have kids that have starred in movies now; we have kids that have graduated from college," said Duke.
Duke is hoping volunteers and donations will help the club reach their goal with the center.
"We want to remodel this place. We have some issues we need to get done," said Duke.