YAKIMA, Wash. — Four years in the planning, a one-stop center for anti-gang resources officially opened Tuesday in northeast Yakima.
“We’re building off of the resources that already exist in the community and making them better through coordination and collaboration,” said Steve Magallan, a consultant hired by the city to help develop the Youth and Family Development Center.
Located at the Miller Park YPAL Community Center, at 602 N. Fourth St., the center will offer a variety of services, including mentoring, tutoring, recreation, life skills education and behavioral treatment. The new center will consolidate services now being provided to 68 people.
Under the umbrella of the city’s Yakima Gang-Free Initiative, the project works in concert with a number of local agencies, including the Yakima Police Activities League, Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health and Union Gospel Mission’s Madison House.
Tuesday’s event also marked inauguration of the area’s first gang prevention and intervention hotline. By dialing 1-877-211-9274, youths, friends or parents can find resources while remaining anonymous.
Planning for the center began in 2009, and has been budgeted at $256,000, Magallan said. He said $140,000 comes from the city’s utility taxes and $116,000 from city operating funds, which pay for two full-time staff and an office.