Stop the violence: Milwaukee man efforts youth center to "keep children off the street"

MILWAUKEE -- Their mission is "keeping children off the street." But, while trying to lower the city's crime rate, one Milwaukee organization has never had a base of operation.

The group is called "Club Kids 414" -- it's founder has a mission to prevent Milwaukee teens from going down the path he once was on and barely made it out of.

It's been more than twenty years since Marcus Duke was in a dark place before finally facing the truth.

Marcus Duke

"I grew up in a gang, grew up selling drugs," said Duke.

Duke needed to put his life back together.

"I got to a point in my life if I had kids, I've got to stop this. I've got to change my life," said Duke.

And with the help of volunteers, Duke has dedicated the rest of his life to preventing other lives from falling apart.

"We've got a program that's called "Get A kid off the block." And that's basically our goal to get kids off the streets, out of their neighborhood and into a safe environment," Duke said.

N. 24th and North youth center

But in twenty years of sponsoring youth activities, Duke's organization has never had a permanent home.

"But our goal for this particular building is to open up a theater and rec center for the kids," said Duke.

N. 24th and North

Duke is hoping the 10,000-square feet at North and 24th is finally it. But the space needs some work -- including electricity and heat.

But Duke has help.

"When you don't have a place where kids can go to with positive help, I think, you know, they can get into a lot of trouble," said Duke.

Leasing the space for now, Duke hopes to open the youth center by the spring.

N. 24th and North youth center

"We've got the concept. We have the people, we just need the space now," said Duke.

Duke wants the future youth center to incorporate after school activities, tutoring, mentoring and much more.

If you'd like to learn more about Club Kids 414 -- CLICK HERE.