BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Corpus Christi church in Buffalo wants to make the most out of additional buildings it runs, and one building that seems to have the most promise is an older athletic center.
The athletic center on Sears Street boasts an indoor basketball court and a bowling alley.
Church leaders are now working with a group called the Stop the Violence Foundation to see how they can work together at reducing violence in Buffalo.
One idea, for example, came from Bishop Perry Davis, who suggested a Hoops for Peace tournament in February.
"You don't want to change the minds of the kids, but you want to give a kid somewhere to go and something to do,"
he said. "That's going to keep them off the streets. That's going to keep their minds occupied, and that will hopefully save lives with what we're doing here."
Another group called the Friends of Corpus Christi is also on board. They hope the youth center brings more attention to the church. President Lucy Ederer says she feels churches add stability to neighborhoods.
They say the church is protected by the National Register of Historic Places and hope to do fundraising, not to change it, but to renovate it so that the athletic center can be more modern.
Bishop Davis said introducing religion could help provide teenagers with structure in their lives, and in addition to recreational activities, he's hoping to also host spiritual activities such as bible readings.
The groups are looking to raise money in order to get the renovations underway. If you're interested in donating, or simply learning more about the Stop the Violence Foundation, you can visit them online at helpstoptheviolence.com.