MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A local Memphis organization says rehabbing abandoned homes may be just what the community needs to clean up the streets and keep kids safe.
“We are seeing children get arrested at earlier and earlier ages,” said Stevie Moore, the founder of Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives.
According to Moore, when most Memphis children get out of school, they're alone for about four hours. Moore created a plan to give them something to do.
“We got all this blight in our community. We got boarded up houses our children can get trapped in,” said Moore.
Moore will use those boarded up and dangerous homes with overgrown yards as sites for mini community centers he calls fun houses.
He says turning the raggedy, run-down buildings into recreation areas helps the city with more than just one problem.
For starters, it cleans up the neighborhood and gets rid of sites known to attract crime.
“I think as a community we can come together to make these houses to be a safe haven,” said Moore.
Moore says he’s in talks with the county to have an abandoned home donated to his organization. This week, he's hunting for a home in North or South Memphis.
Moore hopes with community support, he can start rehabbing the house in the next several weeks.
“I think the old song is ‘I Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.' I'm going to be begging for supplies. Let's do this, man!” Moore said.
Moore lost his own son to violence more than a decade ago. He hopes these fun houses will stop other parents from feeling a similar loss,.
“They'll be using fun houses instead of juvenile court, that's the end result,” said Moore.
If you would like to get involved, call F.F.U.N at 901- 527-3149.