HOT SPRINGS, AR (KAIT/KARK) - A town hall meeting was held Monday night to discuss what the community could do, now that the Boys and Girls Club of Hot Springs has closed.
According to KARK, over 1,000 children attended that Boys and Girls Club throughout the year, which closed in early 2018.
Jalian Gentry was one of many youths in the area who took advantage of the after-school program.
"I would be dead or in jail," Gentry said. "The Boys Club kept me busy. After school, I went straight there to play basketball. I did community service."
Now Champion Christian College plans to take the program over and begin providing programs for kids in Hot Springs.
Willie Wade, the founder of the advocacy group Difference Makers of Hot Springs, held the town hall where community leaders and activists discussed options for helping at-risk children.
"A lot of the kids that end up in juvenile services could have avoided that had there been intervention and prevention programs in place," Wade said.
That meeting was looking for concrete solutions to keep children in the community from being forgotten.
The ideas discussed at Monday night's meeting will be presented to Champion College in hopes programs can be designed around the youth and their needs.
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