In case you haven’t noticed, news outta B-more has gone from bad to worse this week with one of the cops, who had a hand in Freddie Gray’s murder, was cleared of charges. Yes, yet another one. Lost count? Good thing they are.
Unfortunately no one is keeping a tally on how this is affecting kids and their ability to…I don’t know…be like normal young’uns. Luckily Erika Alston carved out such a safe haven for 100 neighborhood kids between ages 5 to 17.
CBS Evening News reports Alston revamped an old laudromat into an after-school rec center– Penn North Kids Safe Zone, a few days after the riots sparked by Freddie Gray’s murder.
“The whole world got to see our children standing face-to-face with officers, and throwing rocks, and they didn’t have another outlet. We’ve created that outlet.”
The Kids Safe Zone includes homework help, peer support, field trips and a range of recreational activities–from Xbox video games to sports teams–for kids to escape.
Funding for Safe Zone comes from the state (Maryland’s governor donated $50G’s for the computer lab) and private donations. The center got a big boost when Alicia Keys made a surprise visit in November. Soon after A&E Network donated $30,000, followed by $10,000 from Kaiser-Permenete.
Say it loud: More safe zones and less jail cells. To donate to Ericka’s Safe Zone click here.