A new summer program is launching in southern Miami-Dade County to keep kids involved in full time summer activities.
Safe Summers will provide $250,000 in grant funding to seven community based organizations with one goal: to keep youth safe and away from gun violence.
"We need to get our youth off the streets and we need to give them opportunities," said County Commissioner Danielle Cohen-Higgins during an event Monday to announce the program.
More than 400 kids from District 8, located in South Miami-Dade, will get a chance to take part.
"This is summer programming that it's athletics, it’s robotics, art, dance, faith based," Cohen-Higgins said. "We wanted to create an option that was vast, that was variant."
Romania Dukes, who lost her 17-year-old son to gun violence in 2014, believes more kids can be saved with these opportunities.
"The gun violence has increased more than it has in Miami. Down south, we don’t have many programs so bringing this program is very crucial," Dukes said. "It's very crucial to have these kids in these different programs."
County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county hopes to offer these programs year round.
"We’re going to be matching this effort with our Peace and Prosperity Plan that’s $90 million over 19 years," she said. "It’s a win for our children who will continue to learn and grow, it's a win for our neighborhoods that will be safer because the children will be productively engaged."
Levine Cava said the plan is to put more than $2 million into the program this summer and fall for expansion.