Hope for disadvantaged youth
Hope for Inner-City Youth At our campus on the east side of Indianapolis we offer programs for children year-round in our Youth Center. Boys and girls ages 8-18 have the opportunity each day to hear a Bible message, receive tutoring, play sports and video games, and participate in fun activities. During the summer school break we offer a program for kids that helps keep them off the streets and away from harmful and dangerous influences, while providing positive relationships and safe recreation.
Youth Center Faces of Hope
Antonio has been attending our Youth Center since 2013. He lives in a small apartment with his single mom and younger sister, Arkaysia. One day on a drive down Washington Street, Antonio remembers seeing our playground and it quickly grabbed his interest. He asked his mom if he and his sister could play there, and she agreed to sign them up for our program. They have been faithfully attending the Youth Center ever since!
There is no denying that troubled and inner-city youth are in desperate need of intervention. Many boys and girls in our community are growing up with little to no father figure, and often a mom that is too busy trying to keep food on the table to be able to build discipline into the lives of her kids.
Children come from all over the neighborhood looking for companionship, safety, and people who genuinely care about them. We provide them with nutritious meals, help with homework and godly mentoring from people who love them unconditionally.
Rather than having teens roam the city streets trying to figure things out for themselves, we give them an environment where they’re free to be young adults and have real struggles, all while being loved and cared for in a Gospel-centered environment. If one of our guys gets angry on the basketball court or football field, it’s ok. A loving, firm hand of correction will come from our staff members that have his best interest in mind. We work to lead these young men in a godly fashion through all the various problems that arise in their lives.
For us, it is so much more than just sports. It’s creating a culture in which our guys can have fun, be competitive, and even have outbursts in a place where we can step in and be the light they desperately need. Our sports teams are an opportunity to bring kids to Church, teach discipline, and to replace the influences of gangs.
It’s hard to focus when you’re hungry. For many of our Youth Center kids, it is difficult for them to have reliable access to nutritious meals. Underprivileged families with no transportation or funds often resort to cheaper, unhealthy diets and the kids depend heavily on their school for meals. At Good News Ministries we provide hot meals, not just for homeless men, but also for children who attend our Youth Center! Here they can have access to balanced meals and fresh produce.
No matter their background, boys and girls need a place where they can play, interact with other kids and receive mentoring to guide them as they grow. In our Youth Center, children benefit from educational tutoring, at least one nutritious meal a day and a safe haven from neighborhoods filled with drugs, violence and oppression.
Video game systems, full court basketball, air hockey, pool tables and a three story playground are just a few activities that keep these kids busy. Voluntary and mandatory events fill school-year afternoons. For at least one hour each day, students do their homework, participate in a book reading program or work on increasing their reading comprehension skills.
When school is out for the summer, kids go on weekly field trips and participate in community projects, while still being able to enjoy everything else the Youth Center has to offer. Year-round our Youth Center works to build hope into precious, young lives and give them a shot at a brighter future.