HOUSTON - A community center north of downtown Houston is getting a facelift, but really it’s a gift to the entire neighborhood at Moody Park.
With the snip of a ribbon, the Moody Community Center's brand-new indoor and outdoor basketball courts were unveiled and so was the computer center. Residents are excited to see the neighborhood getting much-needed love and support.
"I was born and raised here," Justin Blanco says while pointing to a group of children. "Coming from around this area and seeing it develop into something better than what it was, it’s a good thing especially for them, for our future."
The center is on Fulton Street, just blocks from where 11-year-old Josue Flores was killed on Fulton at James. "To make the community better, safer for our children it’s a great idea, and I’m thankful to anyone who’s willing to help with that," resident Rebecca Salazar adds.
The Houston Rockets teamed up with Memorial Hermann Hospital and the city to make this makeover happen. The facility won’t only provide exercise for the body.
"It really helps with stress reduction, anxiety reduction, and it builds social cohesion," Memorial Hermann Chief Community Health Officer Carol Paret says. "We truly believe parks are the center of communities and when parks have the infrastructure and programming communities want and desire they're going to get out and use those parks and that’s going to lead to healthier people … when people get out, and they exercise, and they get fresh air, not only does their physical health improve, but their anxiety typically lessens, and it’s a great way for the community to come together."
"The Rockets helping with this whole process of communities in underserved neighborhoods, doing something special for the kids, Rocketizing this gym, having a computer center," Houston Parks Director Kenneth Allen says with a smile. "It’s going to make a huge impact on this community."
The kids were super excited to see Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner who spoke with the youngsters and appeared to have a good time with them. Before leaving the Mayor who grew up in Acres Homes told them "You can come from the hood and still grow up to become Mayor."
The community center is free to the residents and provides everything from after-school programs to summer meals.