Jul 31, 2013 11:02 PM by Erin Steuber

New Playground Means New Hope for Lafayette Neighborhood

An area in Lafayette known for crime will soon be seeing a new project taking root. A long-awaited playground will be the newest neighbor in the Ile Des Cannes area off Dulles Drive.

"Slides. And and I want to go play on the swing," said 4-year-old Ra'Shannon.

Ra-Shannon is among dozens of children who have no where else to play but the streets.

"Well it's a good thing because all the kids are just running around and doing nothing," said resident Kristal Taylor. "So it's going to be very adventurous for them to have something to do and stay out of trouble."

The Ile Des Cannes complex is home to nearly 2,000, and has never had a playground. Now, thanks to an outsider making Ile Des Cannes his home, the playground is becoming a reality.

"Having a playground will give the kids a safe place to play off the streets," said Ken Hargrave, founder of A Heart for Children.

Hargrave, a missionary in the neighborhood, moved here in 2007 with the mission to help guide the neighborhood away from it's criminal history, mainly through mentoring. Part of his vision: A playground, complete with swings, a jungle-gym and gazebos for families and the neighborhood to get together.

"To know they are off the streets and they know someone cares for them, and that they know they have a safe place to come," said Hargrave. "It's just a blessing to me."

Hargrave says donations are making that dream a reality, but still no date for the big groundbreaking.



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