SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — With the West Side of Syracuse being a hot spot for gun violence, Rebirth SYR is looking to help address the issue while providing resources for children by opening a new community center. The facility where the community center is being placed is the home of the recently unveiled mural honoring four young victims of gun violence in Syracuse. Hasan Bloodworth, a co-founder of Rebirth SYR, is hoping to bring a centerpiece to the community that can protect kids in the neighborhood.
“This is like a safe space for the kids,” Bloodworth said. “A lot of them are victims of gun violence and victims of the street gangs, things of that nature. So they need an alternative in a way out. This right here will show them and guide them to a better ways of success in life.”
The new community center is expected to offer activities for kids with all different interests including an active area with a weight room, a video game room, arts and crafts, and a room to hold parties and events. Along with the all access activities for the children, Rebirth is planning to host different classes such as baking and cooking courses. This community center is expected to be the first of its kind in Syracuse. The response to Bloodworth and Rebirth SYR for putting this center together has been only of high praise from the community.
“I’ve gotten an excellent response from the community. A lot of thank yous, a lot of God bless you,” Bloodworth said. “So I know that there are definitely appreciative of it. It’s been a long time coming and we don’t have too many places like this.”
This unique project for Syracuse’s West Side neighborhood is one that Bloodworth has always looked to do. While him and Rebirth SYR are doing this as an act in response to the spike in gun violence in the city, Bloodworth is doing this as an opportunity to make an impact on his hometown.
“It just warms my heart to be able to do something, even if I help one or two individuals,” Bloodworth said. “It makes this world just that much better place, you know? So I’m overwhelmed with joy.”
The new community center is planned to open next month. As they work to try and complete the project, Rebirth SYR is constantly looking for volunteers. The organization is also looking for volunteers to assist with different community events hosted by Rebirth. If you’d like to make a donation to the organization, you can donate money directly to Bloodworth through Cash App at $Hasahn77.