The non-profit offers support services for families living on Parkway Drive in Central Fresno.
“This calling, this really high energy motivation inside me to pull into this motels/" 1376 target="_blank">motel. I had lived there at one time. I remember what it smelt like, I remember what it felt like to physically admit that I lived at that place,” says Burrell.
The strip of motels faces its own set of daily challenges..
Richard explains, “Gang culture that is here, the amount of sex work that is here, chronicle homelessness, these are the things that these kids are seeing every single day.”
Determined to make a difference, he kept driving back to the strip of motels.
The children eventually opened up to Richard.
“The kids allowed me to play kickball with them and play soccer with them. But I noticed almost immediately that there was no food for them when they got home from school,” he said.
Richard then partnered with a local grocery store to provide meals for the children.
After offering services for just over a month, Richards’ non-profit multiplied. They went from helping around 30 kids to over 140 kids.
Today, that number is over 200 children.
The non-profit runs an after-school program. It offers tutoring, mentorship, a playground and a hot meal.
“We see the most amazing, imaginative, brilliant young people that are here. Not one of them chose to live in the motels, not one of them chose most of the things that are going on in their lives,” says Burrell.
Employee Leanord Medina drives the van that picks the children up Monday through Friday.
Since its start ten years ago, the non-profit has outgrown its space.
They are looking to expand and continue planting a seed of opportunity in the minds of young children living on the motels/" 1376 target="_blank">motel strip.
If you are interested in learning more, volunteering or donating, visit here
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