Davenport community center needs help to stay open

24 hours after a man was shot in Davenport, neighbors are now worried their community center, which is a block away from where that shooting happened, might have to be shut down.

Inside a brick building near 6th and Vine in Davenport, there are people watching over the neighborhood.

“It’s a low income area,” said Kenny Staggs.

“When we’re open on a day there might be about 20, 25, 30 people that come in,” said Lupe Serrano.

“In the community, in any community, if they need clothing, they can come here and take what they need,” said Staggs.

On shelves inside the Central Community Center, there are buckets with clothes for toddlers, size 10 clothes for boys, even baby dolls, free for people to take what they need.

“The people who use it rely on it, they absolutely need it,” said Staggs.

And often, some visit the community center for something they might need more than clothes.

“It’s a place they can come to. When they come in here to get clothes, a lot of them talk to you,” said Serrano.

“We’ve had people who have gotten into a little scrap with the law, would come here and do community service,” said Staggs, “They were actually enjoying helping people. You could physically see the enjoyment of it and it actually helped some of them turn around.”

“It’s something to help somebody. You know, to give forward to someone to help them,” said Serrano.

But those sitting around the table at the center, need some help of their own.

“We’re out of luck. We have to close this,” said Serrano.

For theĀ  past four to five years, the neighborhood association has used the space for free. Now, they say, the owners of the building might want to charge them $80 a month.

“It’s a lot of money for a low income neighborhood to come up with,” said Staggs.

“We get a lot of sweatshirts, coats, boots, and that, and now we aren’t going to be able to do that,” said Serrano.
“Our community needs it to stay open,” said Staggs.

But unless they come up with the money, they’ll have to close the doors to the brick building for good.

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