FERGUSON, Mo. - For Miracle McCaleb, raising three kids by herself has come with a ton of challenges. Adding to that challenge – a neighborhood that she has become more violent in the many years she’s lived here. It was on display for the world to see after Michael Brown was killed by police in August 2014.
McCaleb said she worries her kids need a safer place to hang out in.
“They need some type of mentor because I can’t do it by myself as a single mom,” she said.
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis will break ground Friday morning just a block from her home on West Florissant to serve that need.
“That will change my life because they would be off the streets,” McCaleb said.
Ferguson was recognized as an area where there was a gap in services such as after-school programs, mentorship, and other extracurricular activities.
“If children don’t have an outlet for positive activity, then they are going to use that energy in some way and unless they have folks guiding and advising them in the proper direction, they are at risk,” said Flint Fowler, president of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis.
Organizers hope to have the facility open by fall 2019.
For McCaleb’s 13-year-old son, the more than $12 million facility means spending valuable time in a place that could serve as a second home.
“I feel like it’s going to be good for us. It’s something positive that we can do instead of being out on the streets selling drugs,” said Brandyn Scaife.
For the community, the new addition serves as a sign that change is possible, beginning with taking care of our kids.