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Program aims to give Indy's youth a 'safe summer'

Posted at 12:27 AM, Jul 10, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Keeping the teens of Indianapolis safe and out of trouble is the goal of Safe Summer, a city-wide initiative aimed at reducing violent crime in the city.

"Each week we are bringing a message about community engagement, family engagement, conflict resolution and also gun safety," Casby Williams, resource coordinator for the city of Indianapolis, said.

The Safe Summer program is backed by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, whose office is collaborating with community programs and leaders to provide safe spaces for Indy's youth in three different parts of the city. Williams said the program is an opportunity for young people 13 and older to have fun while knowing someone is watching out for them.

"We want to reach those young people that feel as if no one cares about them. We want to reach out to those young people who may not have a strong family structure," Williams said. "We want to reach out to those young people who are looking for stuff to do on Friday nights because they get bored but they don't want to get in trouble."

Safe Summer will take place every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. This year's activities include everything from basketball to swimming to video games, movie nights and workshops on conflict resolution and even hygiene. Williams said last year the program gave a home to more than 300 teens across the city on Friday nights.

"This program is important because we see the need that young people do want to get out of the house and have fun and be engaged in their community," Williams said.

Safe Summer starts this Friday and will take place weekly until Aug. 14. You can find activities at Bethel Park on the near southeast side, Municipal Gardens on the west side and at the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside.