Local Summer Program Hopes To Keep Teens Out Of Trouble
With budget cuts, many free programs no longer exist. So, members from local law enforcement have paired up with private organizations to give teens an option
Just days before the end of school, dozens of teens found themselves in big trouble at Walmart.
And that wasn't an isolated incident.
"20th Ave, east Gainesville, 8th ave and you heard about the Walmart incident those issues were letting us know we have a significant problem," said Ed Jennings, 4A member and community leader.
The problem is what to do with older teens and families with little to spend.
However, Project Heatwave may offer a summertime alternative. Community leaders hope they can get Project Heatwave up and running in a few weeks giving older teens a safe place to go.
"if we can capture their energy, we also want to give then some literacy, etiquette, self esteem opportunities," said Jennings.
Some teens seem to be down with the plan.
"Number one it'll keep us out of trouble, and keep us motivated and doing what we want to do," said Lawrence Washington, East Gainesville teen.
While Washington is graduating from high school tomorrow, he thinks his younger friends need the motivation even more. But, Project Heatwave will take resources.
"Entities like Walmart that had a negative experience might invest in a positive opportunity," said Jennings.
Anyone interested in donating time or services to Project Heatwave are asked to contact Captain Tony Jones of the Gainesville Police Department.
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