A longtime youth program in Manassas will soon need to find a new home.
The Don Bosco Center, currently located at the Georgetown South Community Center, is a Youth Apostles outreach and enrichment program that works with Hispanic youth from middle school to high school-age.
Father Ramon, a Catholic priest for Youth Apostles, helps to run the program, which started back in 2005.
“We started with a small number of kids…and then we grew to 12, and 20 – currently, I would say our average is somewhere in the 40s kids per any given day,” said Ramon.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons – with extended hours in the summer – children from the communtiy come to the program for homework help, mentoring, substance abuse and gang prevention programs, as well as several enrichment activities.
And while Ramon says that the program has done a lot of good for the youth in Manassas, the Georgetown South Board has decided that the program will need to leave.
The board had voted to terminate the program’s contract to use the community center space at the end of January. But it appears, at least for now, that that’s on hold.
Georgetown South Community Manager Meg Carroll said that the board has now granted an extension for the program until the end of the school year.
Ramon said the Youth Apostles had already been looking for a larger space, as they’ve somewhat outgrown the existing space, but they have not yet been able to find a replacement site.
But while the program now has until the May-June timeframe to find a new home, they have some concerns about whether they’ll be able to do so in a space that fits their needs and the community they serve, according to Ramon.
“I am working with them to modify the conditions they included with that extension such that it will allow our program to meet our goals and continue to serve the children currently in our program. Regardless of the extension, we are still in urgent need to locate a new space either nearby the Georgetown South community or in a neighborhood that can benefit from our services and programs,” said Ramon.
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