SAN DIEGO — San Diego has battled a spike in violent crime in recent months with the city’s Mt. Hope and Mountain View neighborhoods hit by incidents of gang violence and deadly shootings.
But a community church is trying to change that by filling in the gaps.
The new Bridge Community Center, part of the Bridge Church, recently opened at the corner of Ocean View Boulevard and South 37th Street. It is open all week and offers a variety of activities for community members. The center also opens its doors on Sundays for religious services.
Although the church has been in the neighborhood for decades, it was recently renovated in hopes of expanding to more than just its members.
“The bridge is not just our name, but it’s actually who we are, what we do,” said Pastor Steve Marron. “It’s our passion.”
The surrounding neighborhoods have both been a recent hotspot for gang violence. Thus, Marron made the decision to make the church a focal point for community members.
“We’re not trying to say there’s no place for gangs here, we’re trying to say how can we change the course of gang activity,” Marron said.
The center has partnered with several organizations to help provide educational and entertaining activities to the community.
“Jui Jitsu to cross-fit boxing – alternatives; we are going to have events here that will be able to do activities that will be inclusive for children, for children, for young people for young adults,” Pastor Marron said.
Pastor Marron has been in contact with city leaders to help bring the community together.
“We’re trying to create a place that’s safe, that will really make a difference in change, that will really make a difference for something that will really propel into something bigger,” Pastor Marron said.
To contact the Church of the Bridge, you can visit their website.
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