Campaign for Youth Center Kicks Off

September 17, 2007

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Community leaders say there are no youth centers in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. A local group is launching a capital campaign to build a center there. Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore reports.

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Diane Latiker founded Kids Off the Block in her home in 2003. She offers kids a space to hang out after school and do activities like music and art. With 160 young people and another 100 on a waiting list, her anti-violence operation has long outgrown her living-room. KOB, as it's known, wants to build a permanent youth center as a neighborhood safe haven.

LATIKER: Kids need more than just a two- to three-hour program. They need around the year, around the day, around the hour care. Teens I'm talking about. So we want to offer them that.

Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale has donated a vacant lot for the project. KOB has started raising money. And Latiker hopes the center will be finished in a few years.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.