Queens community leaders gathered at city hall [yesterday] to kick off a 36-hour vigil, protesting the closing of Rockaway’s Redfern Community Center.
The center opened in June, following a string of shootings in the area. Residents say it helped to reduce tensions.
But the center's funding has run out, and it is now scheduled to be closed [today].
Leaders say that would be a blow to the community.
“People were shooting each other, the gang violence was high, the buildings were fighting each other. It was just territorial because there was no programs, no outlet,” said Geoffrey Davis of Stop the Violence Foundation. “But then we got that outlet going and we want to keep it going. We got a positive message and we want to keep that outlet open.”
“We're here to say keep Redfern Community Center open, it's a matter of life or death,” said Pamela A. Lewis of All Stars Project. “And we're here to say to the mayor, the poor people of this city elected you and have you forgotten the poor people of this city?
Queens Residents Hold Vigil For Closing Center