Robinson Center combats youth violence

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- “Well, I think it is horrible," said Robinson Center Manager Jennifer Knapp Beaudert.

She said all the shootings in South Bend have her shaken up.

“I worry about my kids and the kids at the center," said Beaudert.

One of the Robinson Center’s goals is to prevent youth violence in the city, with its program 'Take Ten'.

“Talk it out. Walk it out. Wait it out. It is an alternative to violence that we teach kids to use when they are confronted with a violent situation," said Beaudert.

But Beaudert said the best thing the Robinson Center does to help combat youth violence is help keep their heads in the books.

“Kids need something to do after school. I mean those after school hours are unstructured. Parents are working and it is a great time to get in trouble," said Beaudert.

She admits the state of the economy is making it harder for the center to provide that stability.

“We have seen a reduction of funds coming from the state for our tutoring program," said Beaudert.

Anytime the economy suffers, so do the kids.

“Programs are cut back. There are less places for kids to go," said Beaudert. "Parents are unemployed. Parents are working too hard. I mean it makes sense to me that it would lead to more youth violence.

Beaudert thinks the city should take a more proactive approach rather than react when there is a crisis.

“It is a struggle. I think it should be everyone’s priority to have programs like this."

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