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Fremont Youth Foundation searching for indoor space

As a South Bend youth group expands, they’re wondering what’s next, and looking for more indoor space.

The group is the Fremont Youth Foundation, which aims to keep neighborhood children occupied, educated and out of trouble.

“It’s been real troublesome. We’ve had to cancel a lot of things,” Co-founder Kim Clowers said.

Unpredictable Michiana weather has made some meetings difficult.

“Right now we host all of our meetings and all of our events underneath the shelter that has no walls,” Clowers said.

Started in 2014, the youth organization hosts a number of activities for youth.

“In order to stop the violence in this community we have to keep these kids doing something positive and productive,” Clowers said.

According to the co-founder, their membership has been growing rapidly.

“We host a book club every second and third Tuesday of every month, and every time we have at least 20 kids come out,” Clowers said.

For indoor space, the group tried getting access to the LaSalle Landing main building, owned by Housing Authority.

However, Housing Authority says they had to turn them down.

Interim Director Tonya Robertson says due to budget cuts, they don’t have the manpower to staff extra hours, and insurance won’t let them have unsupervised visitors inside.

The South Bend Parks Department is offering help.

They’ve built a new basketball court at Fremont Park, installed electric at the pavilion, and are building South Bend’s largest splash pad in the park.

“We really tried to engage the neighborhood. These are ideas were ideas that they had for making the park better,” Aaron Perri, head of South Bend Parks and Recreation said.

Perri also says they’d be willing to open community centers to the group for winter months, but Clowers is hoping to keep the activities as close to Fremont as possible.

“Keep them educated. Keep them busy. Keep them happy,” Clowers said.

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