New Boys and Girls Club coming to Gresham’s Rockwood neighborhood

By Simon Gutierrez
Aug 19, 2016 10:37 PM PDT


A new Boys and Girls Club will provide opportunities for teens and kids in Gresham’s Rockwood neighborhood.

According to the organization, the Rockwood neighborhood has the highest concentration of youth under the age of 18 in Gresham, with a third of them living in poverty.

“Bringing a club to this community is going to provide youth a place that is safe, that is fun. A place that families can trust, that their kids can come to and be safe and be engaged,” Kerian Walton, Senior Director of Safety and Training for the Boys and Girls Club of Portland, said.

State Representative Carla Piluso, who formerly served as Gresham’s Chief of Police, helped secure $1 million of state funding to build the new 30,000 square foot facility.

Piluso said she saw a dire need for this kind of facility in the Rockwood area.

“My background is law enforcement, and I believe this is the best crime prevention we can have,” Piluso said. “We’ll have kids that are making good choices, having good peer support, as well as mentoring.”

Construction work is already underway on the new facility, but Walton said it will likely be at least a year until the new club is open for business.

When the club opens, it will be able to serve between 300 and 400 teens and kids per day.