Couple opening up youth center on Jacksonville's Northside

by: Amber Krycka, Action News Jax Updated:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A local community that’s no stranger to crime will be getting a new youth center. 

Jatavious Wilson and his wife say it’s been their dream to open up a center on the Northside to give kids a place to learn and have fun. Now that dream has come true. Wilson and his family have a special place in their heart for the Northside.

“I grew up on the Northside, I went to school on the Northside,” Christine Wilson said. 

The Wilsons are bringing a safe and fun place to the area on Monaco Drive.

“So let’s build up our kids, let’s build them up, show that we care, and that we care about their future,” Christine Wilson said.         

The couple had been saving up for months and now the center is ready to be filled with the sound of laughter.      

“A place they can just come to have fun, let lose, not worrying about any of the worries out here, and when they come here, it’s fun,” Jatavious Wilson said. 

“It’s going to help us. It’s going to help us a lot,” said Ryan Jones, a mother who lives nearby.

The youth center, located at 10663 Monaco Drive, will be open Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be games, activities, mentors and snacks. The grand opening is Saturday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The center is open to ages 5-17 and the center can hold about 100 people. The cost is $45 a week, but Wilson said parents can apply for assistance through the Early Learning Coalition, which will cover most of it, if not all, of the fee. 

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