Community members express outrage over proposed funding cuts to South Bend rec centers
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- South Bend residents and Common Council members are expressing their concern over proposed budget cuts to the Martin Luther King Jr. and Charles Black Recreation Centers. South Bend Venue Parks and Arts proposed moving full time employees part time and eliminating some part time positions to account for losses of revenue due to COVID-19.
"It seems that every time there’s a budget cut, the Black community gets the budget cut," said Jackie Martin, Literacy Coordinator for the Charles Martin Youth Center.
Supporters of the centers worry about the long term consequences that could come from the budget cuts.
"If you take these services away from the community where they’re really needed, and then the domino effect is these children get in trouble, get incarcerated and fill our jail cells," said Martin.
South Bend Common Council Member Henry Davis Jr. says its counterproductive to siphon funding from the centers that offer potentially life changing services like literacy tutoring, and computer classes.
"We need more, not less," said Davis. "We need to make sure as legislators in the community that we’re not rallying but solving the problem."
Community members say those services are worth fighting for and they are comforted that the community is coming together to maintain the centers' missions.
There will be a press conference to address the potential budget cuts on Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the Charles Black Center.