"We wanted to create the ultimate safe space for our city's young people to gather," said a member of the nonprofit.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As bullets continue to fly throughout the city, Philadelphia's youth are relying more on nonprofits that are working to keep them safe.
Level Up is one of the largest organizations serving hundreds of kids a week since its start four years ago.
The West Philadelphia nonprofit has become a respite for teens from the dangers that plague city streets.
Bakir Edwards and Caleb Rogers both said they have been affected by gun violence.
"Two of my sisters were shot. My younger sister and my older sister at different times, but they're both ok now," said Edwards.
"My sister as well. She was playing basketball when she was shot," added Rogers.
Rogers' 15-year-old sister was shot in Tioga-Nicetown in 2021. She died shortly after.
"Then, I knew that anything could happen at any time. I had to watch my back, start paying attention more," he said.
That's why both young men are regulars at the nonprofit on 47th and Chestnut streets.
"We wanted to create the ultimate safe space for our city's young people to gather," said Reverend Aaron Campbell.
Reverend Campbell, who the kids call "Unc," said they are doing more than just feeding students, tutoring, or college prep.
"We're doing gang reconciliations. We're doing anti-retaliation negotiations," he said. "We gather the bullies and the ones bullied, the victims and the victimized."
Ashanti Sanders had her first reconciliation this year.
"I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for here. I could end up dead if it wasn't for here," she said.
While the program and it's name has become like a protective shield for the kids it serves, teens have also found hope of having a somewhat normal childhood.
They are looking for normalcy and often just hoping they can make it to graduation.
"I think about that everyday," said Rogers.
For more information, visit: https://levelupphilly.org/