ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Children in Moultrie now have a place to burn off some extra energy as summer gets into full swing.
A new youth center was made to aim for curbing violence in the city.
"This is the concert and banquet section. Then, in the back, is a recreation area," said organizer Larry Shaw.
Shaw's vision has now come to life. As he walks through what was once an abandon building, he greets the many people inside.
Shaw said he hopes the youth center opening on West Central Avenue in Moultrie delivers a message to those using it.
"Our purpose is to cause the young people to know and recognize there is hope in our community," said Shaw.
Shaw said the facility will do just that in a number of ways. Games and sports will help kids burn off excess energy and classes will teach them how prepare for job interviews.
The Boys 2 Men Project is also teaming up with Shaw to organize youth activities in Moultrie.
Founder George Wallace said providing the resources to children is critical to their success.
"We do everything to the fullest. Everything to our ability to make sure these youths have what they need to advance and not wind up behind bars, in trouble or even dead," said Wallace.
Speakers, including law enforcement, will hold discussions at the facility.
Shaw said keeping kids safe and out of harm's way is a big reason the doors were open.
"Its alarming that the youth across this country, crime has escalated so. This community is no different. It is our hope that we can curtail and change that trend," said Shaw.
With one look at the smiling, laughing faces, Shaw said the community is one step closer to the goal.