Birmingham Parks hosting “safe haven” programs at Rec Centers again this summer

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:45 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - School is out for summer and Birmingham Parks and Rec, along with city leaders, are working to keep kids safe with safe haven program.

With only two Birmingham pools set to open on May 27th, officials said they’re expecting even more kids to participate.

The city and Parks and Rec launched the “Safe Havens” program last year to try and decrease violence in the city, by bringing more kids into Rec centers for games, tutoring, and life skills.

Recreational Superintendent Ronald Hicks said they averaged around 45 to 75 kids at each site last summer and expect double this year. The program is designed to help kids from kindergarten to 12th grade, develop personal and life skills, while also having a safe place to go after school and in the summer. They bring in mentors, teachers, and mental health professionals to work with the kids and also offer resources at the rec center for parents.

“It’s a safe haven,” Hicks said. “There’s a recreation portion and a learning portion. We also feed the kids everyday when they are there and this is times where they can just, not mess all the way around, but relax.”

Hicks said they won’t turn any kids away and have extended hours at the Rec Centers until 8pm for kids in the program. Hicks said they may even push it back to 9pm later this summer.

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