FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Soon hundreds of children living on and around Parkway Drive in Fresno will have a new neighborhood community center to call home, thanks to $1 million from the state of California.
Live Again Fresno is a community organization that focuses on helping kids and families living in motels on Parkway Drive and in the Addams neighborhood. The organization helps with everything from meals and afterschool programs to even some health care services. Their work was just at the center of a documentary that was shown at Fresno’s Tower Theater called “Motel Drive” which followed the life of a family living in the motels.
Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias said the city can only do so much, and community groups like Live Again Fresno are truly helping change neighborhoods.
“For generations, this corridor was simply the human trafficking and red light district of the Central Valley,” he said. “We can build, we can tear down the old motel and build an apartment, we can tear down the old street and rebuild it with sidewalks and bike lanes and street lights, all those things are important but what’s important is can we take that house and make it a home.”
Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula helped get the money allocated into this year’s state budget. He said he grew up in this exact zip code and understands how crucial community organizations like Live Again Fresno are.
“Too often I’ve seen kids in our community who don’t have these afterschool activities, places like Live Again Fresno that create safe spaces for our kids to be able to find a warm meal and a caring adult,” Arambula said.
Their new building will be about a mile from their current spot and will get set up on Olive Avenue between Hughes Avenue and Parkway Drive. Live Again Fresno’s founder and executive director Richard Burrell said their new spot will come with four acres of land, and already has a 7,000-square-foot building on it.
“We no longer talk about high-risk or at-risk youth or children, we start to talk about them in terms of high opportunity. High opportunity because that’s exactly what they are,” Burrell said.
Information was not given on when the new facility will be ready.