South Side Youth Center Gets New Gym To Serve Hundreds Of Kids Thanks To Grant, Local Help

A South Side community center gets an early Christmas gift.

Plaque recipient and gym floor

BY: JAMIE NESBITT GOLDEN/BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO

WASHINGTON PARK — South Side kids have a new gym thanks to a $200,000 grant and help from locals.

The Chicago Youth Programs unveiled the renovated gym Wednesday at its Community Center, 5350 S. Prairie Ave. The gym typically serves hundreds of children per year.

The upgrade was made possible by a $200,000 National Neighborhood Promise grant from Republic Services Charitable Foundation. Members from the Chicago chapter of Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit, reached out to Republic Services for the grant and then helped arrange the renovations.

Typically, Rebuilding Together enlists local volunteers for renovation projects. Organizers had to pivot due to the pandemic, hiring Black-owned firms to do the work instead.

The project, which began in the spring, was completed last month.

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