LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Parish Councilman “AB” Rubin is concerned the safe-haven initiative program is not getting enough awareness.
Rubin started the program to reduce youth violence crime during the summer. In the third week of the program, Rubin stresses the importance to the community. “This isn’t just for the misunderstood children in our community. This is for all our children because, as I said, each child in our community is one bad decision away from being a statistic in our community,” said councilman Rubin.
As the program is on its third Saturday since June 5, Rubin says there needs to be more awareness about the program.
Terry Martin, a member of the Down ‘N’ Dirty bike organization, says the bike community is happy to help the youth and make a positive impact. “Just to come out and support and get your kids into something this summer,” said Martin. “We had a lot of tragedies here in Lafayette with kids killing kids and we have to know that it starts at home and the only way we’re going to stop this is to get our kids active in things like this.”
Tyler Broussard, a student at Carencro High School, said, “It’s fun; it’s not boring like you think it would be.” It is his second time coming to the haven program on Saturday night. He said his favorite thing to do is play basketball.
Wykiel Provost, who is 13 years old, said he met Broussard at the Young Leaders of Lafayette organization. Since coming to the haven, he has fallen in love with the program and is glad to have new friends. “When I first started the first week, I didn’t think it was going to be that fun. I don’t think I was going to fall in love with it, but I fell in love with it the first day,” he said.
Rubin said, “the biggest thing I think we need is to spread the word. Tell a friend to tell a friend. Bring your children out there, let them experience it at least once and see how they engage in it and then let them decide on their own if it’s something that they want to return to.”
Rubin said they did make some changes to how they allow speakers to engage with the youth, and painting bird cages and jewelry boxes are now available along with the many board games, karaoke, and sports.