City of Memphis “Safe Summer” program returns

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 11:17 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The city of Memphis is looking to keep young people out of trouble and connect more with their families and communities.

That’s why the city teamed up with several local churches for a “Safe Summer.”

This program is not new to the city of Memphis. You might remember it was previously called “Friday Night Lights.”

After a brief pause, it was restarted during the Strickland Administration and renamed “Safe Summer.”

“Young people need something to do when they’re not in school,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “Summer is the most dire time especially for some at-risk children.”

“Safe Summer” is a partnership between the city, community group “Memphis Gun Down” and several local churches.

“It’s made easy for people to take advantage of this great opportunity,” said Pastor Ricky Floyd. “I like to say you’ve got to make it easy for people to succeed and I think that’s what we’ve done with this program.”

Pastor Ricky Floyd of Pursuit of God Transformation Center says this is the second year they’ve participated in Safe Summer.

He believes their congregation in Frayser can impact many lives.

“Many times we complain about what the governors and the mayors and the politicians are not doing,” said Pastor Floyd. “There are targeted resources to the inner-city to eliminate and reduce crime. We’ve got to show up in a mass amount of numbers to let them know that they’re targeting their dollars in the right place.”

Each Friday in June and July, participating churches will feature food trucks, music, cooking lessons, moon bounces, dances, sports and other activities.

“Most people think, if it’s not a large crowd than it’s not successful. But it’s successful if two families came out,” said Pastor Reginald Boyce.

This is also Riverside Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Reginald Boyce’s second year with “Safe Summer.”

He believes this partnership is not only a way to connect with families.. but to get out the message that Memphis wants to keep kids safe all summer long.

Session 1 begins Friday at Norris Avenue Missionary Baptist, Greater Community Temple and St. Mark Baptist from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Session 2 begins Friday July 8 at Pursuit of God Transformation Center, St. Paul Baptist and Riverside Missionary Baptist from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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