The Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety, OPHS, is getting ready to kick off the third year for the Safe Summer initiative.
Safe Summer aims to reach youth 13 and older with programming to keep them safe and out of trouble. OPHS Director Lauren Rodriguez said the free events target youth most at risk.
“Giving them other outlets, giving them other ideas,” Rodriguez said, “giving them hope.”
Activities start June 11 and go beyond athletics and include art and cultural opportunities. OPHS partners with community organizations to offer programs and is looking for more organizations to help increase opportunities.
Safe Summer is held at Douglas Park, the Municipal Gardens and Bethel Park. On Saturdays this summer the office will also host walks to connect with more youth. Safe Summer Strolls will be downtown, Castleton and Broad Ripple.
Last summer 460 youth were served. This year the office hopes to reach more.
Rodriguez said the initiative offers a chance to connect with young people.
“How can we help shape and mold their mindset now to make them be in a better position then they might not otherwise be in,” Rodriguez said.
The program is also able to help families connect with resources.