Youth center to open soon in DeRidder
DeRidder, LA (KPLC) – Video games, flat-screen TVs and pool tables – one teenager’s paradise and another man’s dream. Kingdom Center is a haven for local youth, and that’s part of Billy Cark’s mission.
“Work with the wrong person, all it takes is that fast, and you’re in for the wrong stuff,” Clark said. “So I’m not saying we can solve all of their problems, but we can have an outlet for them to come in and hang out with good people and lead them in the right direction.”
Clark explains his childhood as a run on drugs from the age of 13. He said it was a blur of 10 years from there. Trying to be the light in someone else’s life, he cut back on his full-time job as a barber, spending as much time as possible working on center finishes.
“Nineteen televisions, game consoles that go with it, two pool tables,” Clark said. “Just in this area, there would be RC helmets. We’ll have music, just to hang out, have a good time, you know.
It is thanks to local contributors, volunteers and his perseverance that this is possible and 100% free.
“Just be transparent with their grades, have a good attitude, treat others with respect,” Clark said. “It’s the only thing it’s going to cost them to get in here.”
Clark said his vision for the Kingdom Center was more than a safe place, but also a productive one.
“We will have our own classroom for improving grades,” Clark said. “We will have a small training area. Some of the teenagers mentioned having a small workout room so we will have like a small gym. We will have an RC hobby store, and we will also have a life skills training store, so we can teach them basic skills.
Kingdom Center will open Saturday, March 12 and is located at 628 High School Dr. in DeRidder. Kids can tour the facilities, meet the staff, and enjoy a free pizza. You can find more information on the Kingdom Center Facebook page.
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