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Blue Ribbon Commission meets to draft new community center directory

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© The Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence is creating a directory of community centers for parents. © The Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence is creating a directory of community centers for parents.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence is creating a directory of community centers in Wilmington for parents.

The directory will list places in the Port City where kids can go to stay safe and out of trouble.  The goal is to get the directory complete by the upcoming summer according to Jana Jones Halls, Executive Director of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

"We're asking what's currently available and then giving it out to the families and the youth so they almost have like a menu of programs that are out there," Halls said.

Organizations included in the directory will be the local YMCA as well as public spots run by the City of Wilmington, according to Halls.

In the past few years, budget cuts shortened hours and canceled programs at some city-run activity centers.

Marian Doherty, Program Specialist with the City of Wilmington, said the city is working to get those funds back.

"We have applied for additional funding for this year, for the next fiscal year," Doherty explained.

Hall said funding issues have been accounted for as the directory is compiled.

"We all know that resources are thin," Halls said. "We could all use more resources."

Doherty hopes the directory will provide Wilmington residents with the best possible information on where they can take their children regardless of funding situations.

"We're doing what we can on our part, and I think by having this directory, it's going to make the public aware of other services in addition to the city that are available to the public," Doherty explained.

Hall will continue asking other community centers if they will allow their placement in the downtown directory.

"I know that there are a lot of groups that are interested in trying to advocate for more resources, but that really wasn't the purpose of today," explained Halls.

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