STOCKTON (CBS13) — They are signs bringing hope to a lot of young people living in east Stockton.
The Stockton Kids Club is open twice a week and it’s currently being operated on a limited basis, but many parents want to change that to help their children succeed.
Despite its director and former mayor Anthony Silva being accused of embezzling money from the group and licensing issues, the club still wants to help serve young people.
Tanisha McCoy has worked all year for this moment.
She is helping hundreds of children get ready to head back to school through her non-profit Terri Lynn McCoy, Jr. Corporation, an organization dedicated to youth in Stockton.
“It’s a lot of work, a lot of time. You got to get a lot of people together and that’s our goal. We want to have a free summer program. We want to have a good after school thing,” said McCoy.
McCoy’s group is just one of the few organizations providing help after the Stockton’s Kids Club starting cutting back services.
“These types of programs, these gyms, these boys clubs, they help our youth to, it gives them a better chance,” she said.
Despite losing its contract with the Stockton Unified School District in 2013 and its director, former mayor Antony Silva, now facing embezzling charges, a representative for the club says “operations are still going on, but they are limited.”
“There is a lot of youth running out and how do you say, unsupervised. You see it a lot especially in this park, coming see kids 10 or 11 out here without their parents, just hanging out in the park,” said parent, David Garza.
Parents we spoke with say they grew up at the club and it used to offer kids a safe and educational place where they can be far away from gangs and they want it back.
“We need somebody to step up and open it back up so they can have these types of programs where they can advance in life,” said Raymond Nelson, who lives in Stockton.
Attorneys for Silva say they are working on getting Silva his job back and the boards of directors also wants him back. Until then, the club remains open twice a week and the space is also being offered to the community to rent for special events.