Rec Centers Offer Safe Haven Amid Gang Violence

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Lincoln, Neb.-- Antonio Horton knows what it means to be there when it matters most.

Horton is a youth advisor for the Belmont Recreational Center in Lincoln, a community center with after school programs for school students, as well as open doors for any kids looking to get off the streets at night.

Horton has worked there for four years while he finishes his special education degree at Doane.

"I think this is a great place for kids to interact with other positive kids," Horton said, "and just see a positive influence, versus what goes on out there in the streets with gang violence and things like that."

Amid reports of a gang related murder, both Horton and Belmont Recreation Director Jean Gerlach said it may be an example of a young adult that probably needed help a long time ago.

"It just makes me sad," Gerlach said, "it does worry me."

Belmont Recreation Center is run by the Lincoln Parks and Recreation office.

Along with six other rec centers and various schools, the parks department helps about 800 students take part in some form of after school program across the city.

For a full list of those centers, visit the