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Mar 2, 2012 6:55 PM by Herbie Smith

Plans Underway to Reopen Opelousas' Boys and Girls Club

Good news for kids in Opelousas!
Chris Martin with the Boys and Girls Club confirms the facility in Opelousas reopen.
The center shut down last summer because of budget problems.
"We're in the process of getting board approval to make an announcement of reopening our Opelousas club," said Martin.

Since the facility shut down, residents say they've seen more kids on the streets.
Herman Johnson says before the Boys and Girls Club closed, his little brothers and other kids in the neighborhood called it a home away from home.
"After school they could come play on the computers and play basketball. It was place for them to ease their minds. Now, they don't have a place to go that's fun around here. You don't have a choice but to be on the street," said Johnson.
Opelousas resident Gerald Henry agrees with Johnson.
"You see a lot of children on the street at night," said Henry.

Locals like Jaferries Thomas say the center meant a lot to the community because they knew their little ones were in good hands.
"Once they stepped through those doors it was a positive place, everybody got along,"said Thomas.

Johnson says the center was shelter from the harsh streets.
"You may be saving a child's life by giving them a chance to have somewhere to come," said Johnson.

"The Boys and Girls Club taught the children different things; It's not like being in this neighborhood. This neighborhood is not going to teach you anything but drugs and other stuff you don't need," said Henry.

So far, no word on exactly when the Boys and Girls Club will reopen.
But, officials say they're planning to make a public announcement sometime next week that the center will definitely reopen.



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