Porters Community Center working to build neighborhood through youth involvement
South of downtown Gainesville’s bars and nightclubs, in a leafy neighborhood between West University Avenue and Southwest Depot Avenue, the staff at Porters Community Center works to make the area around them better.
Recreational aide Kenneth Ross has lived in Gainesville through much of the past 30 years before beginning work at the center about a year ago.
Ross said people were afraid to leave their children there when he first started. He has worked to change that perception.
“They didn’t feel safe,” Ross said. “But I made it a point for me to walk around throughout the community and let them know that this is a safe haven, and my main objective is for the welfare of the kids.”
Gigi Simmons, president of Porters Community Neighborhood Organization, said the group is trying to build the children’s library selection and also renovate the center itself. “We’re trying to change the image,” she said.
Jenna Lyons edited this story online.
More Stories in Local
Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.
Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.
National Women Build Week was May 2-10. Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build participated in the weeklong event.
A Gainesville Police Department recruitment video has raised concerns over how it portrays how the police interact with the community. The video included scenes of police officers making arrests, chasing suspects and weapons training.
Lisa Lee Savage was a substance abuser and she broke the rules, but she also overcame adversity. Now, she works as an administrative assistant and receptionist at the GRACE Welcome Center.