Philadelphia opening three new curfew centers amid surge in teen violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As city violence continues to surge, three new evening resource centers - also being called curfew centers - will open in December in Philadelphia.

The centers will operate between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. in areas where both resources are needed most and where police districts have seen the most teen curfew violations.

"We are hopeful that community resource centers will be an opportunity for young people who have curfew violations to come to a safe place with structured activity so that they are no longer on the streets," said Philadelphia City Council member Kathy Gilmore Richardson.

Over the summer, Mayor Kenney signed changes to the city's curfew law, streamlining the times to be year-round for teens who now have to be home by 9:30 p.m. if they are under 13 years old, 10 p.m. if they are under 16 years old and midnight if they are under 18 years old.

The centers will be staffed by community based organizations that already operate the facilities and there will be programs like job readiness, conflict resolution and violence prevention.

Minors have not been immune to the city's violence this year. According to Philadelphia police, 193 people who are 17 and younger have been shot in the city.

"Having community evening resource centers, a structured safe place for young people to go to in our city is super import at at this moment. We are seeing an increase in violence among young people that is unprecedented," said Gilmore Richardson.

The centers are getting about $2 million in city funding from the $155 million the city set aside for violence prevention.

If successful, council member Gilmore Richardson says the plan is to expand to more centers in the city.
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