BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Remembering Freddie Gray. There’s now a Baltimore youth center that honors the 25-year-old who died in police custody.
Tracey Leong has more.READ MORE: Man Shot, Critically Wounded In East Baltimore Saturday, Baltimore Police Say
The Freddie Gray Youth Empowerment Center is located just 10 miles from where Gray lived, serving as a memorial and symbol of hope. It will ideally set Baltimore’s youth up for success in a city working to rebuild after being rocked by violence and chaos following the death of Freddie Gray.
“There’s another side of Baltimore that the uprising didn’t show,” said Dr. Jamal Bryant, Empowerment Temple Church pastor.
Bryant’s Empowerment Temple Church dedicated the center to the city’s kids, giving them a place to prosper and secure a brighter future.
“I really believe it’s got to be bigger than a new police chief—what is going to happen to the economic opportunities in our city and we hope this is going to be the epicenter for Sandtown Winchester,” Bryant said.
Amid one of the most deadly years in Baltimore, the city has already seen more than 100 deaths—a major spike compared to this time last year.READ MORE: Fort McHenry Celebrates New Citizens, Defenders Day Saturday
Community leaders and elected officials say now is the time to make a difference.
“We’ve always needed these types of centers. It’s good to see…the faith community stepping in,” said Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford. “There are things they can do that the government can’t do.”
And Baltimore’s kids are already reaping the benefit.
“Help us get our life together so we don’t go down the wrong path,” said Shakya Brown, who goes to the center.
“Youth should be working or doing something positive instead of being in the streets,” said Dalonte Moore, who goes to the center.
There are currently 95 kids at the center and another 100 on the waiting list but the director says there is still plenty of room if kids want to join.MORE NEWS: Man In Stable Condition After He Was Shot In Face While Driving Early Saturday
The center is on Eutaw Place and also offers free meals to the youth.