A community is coming together to help the youth as an apartment complex in northeast Portland is working to build a semi-enclosed Futsal court to keep their kids safe and off the streets.
The idea for the mini-soccer field is to keep kids from playing in the parking lot, considering that the nearest park is more than a mile away.
At Villa de Suenos, the kids love to play soccer, but the only place they get to play it is in the apartment complex parking lot.
"Cully lacks a lot of great space and a lot of the time children here play in the parking lot," said Jorge Guzman, with HaciendaCommunity Development Corporation.
Nine-year-old Carlos loves playing soccer, and despite the dangers in the parking lot, his mom prefers he plays here instead of being on the streets getting into trouble.
"It's better that they play soccer or that they break a car window from playing soccer instead of having him spray painting graffiti or vandalizing buildings, or worse yet, getting into gangs," said Olga Escalera, who's lived at the complex for 20 years.
Nearly 700 kids make up part of the three apartment complexes that are low-income housing on Northeast Killingsworth.
The complex is owned by a non-profit group called the Hacienda Community Development Corporation.
"So definitely families that are struggling. So a lot times children don't have access to transportation or other facilities where they can play," said Guzman.
Hacienda CDC is planning to use a space near the apartment complex to create a semi-enclosed Futsal court.
Futsal is a variation of soccer made up of five-player teams which uses a heavier low-bounce ball on a basketball size court.
Parents say this will help keep their kids off the street and give them an alternative to other extra-curricular activities in the community.
The new court will be designed to be environmentally friendly and have an eco-roof and a nature garden.
Construction on the court is expected to begin sometime in April and should be complete by summer.
The cost of the project is estimated at about $150,000, but the company is still looking for donations to complete this project.
If you'd like to help, you can log onto their website http://www.haciendacdc.org/get-involved/donate.
Or call Hacienda CDC at 503-595-2111.
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