Local officials introduced The Teen Warehouse, Inc. and its future location in Wilmington.
A 2017 recipient of The PeteduPontFreedom Foundation Reinventing Delaware recognition, The Warehouse will develop ateen-ledco-working and service delivery space in the former Prestige Academy building on Thatcher Street, at the southern end of the Riverside community in Wilmington.
The new facility is scheduled to open in the late summer of this year. The center will serve as an after-school programming site where teens can access a range of services.
ING Direct, acquired by Capital One in 2011, helped the Prestige Academy acquire the property, and Capital One became the owner of the property after the school closed its doors in 2017.
According to Capital One Market President Joe Westcott, “Wilmington is a great place to do business. We are honored to give back to the city in a collaborative way, providing a safe, creative and engaging environment for teens and learning opportunities that will help improve life outcomes for our future workforce.”
The Warehouse plans to create a physical safe space and network of support for Wilmington teens while nurturing a culture of opportunity that stands in opposition to a culture of poverty and violence, a release stated.
The Warehouse concept arose from clear for afterschool programs for youth in one of Wilmington’s higher crime areas.
Unlike a traditional community center, The Warehouse will employ a collaborative teen engagement structure involving a network of youth-serving nonprofits that will operate within the Warehouse framework and deliver programs under a shared roof.
At present, more than 50 organizations have been working over the past year and have signed on to provide services ranging from yoga and dance to mental health support, tutoring, music, jobtrainingandcollege readiness.
The Warehouse will become part of the community health and wellness effort underway in Riverside.
The Warehouse will be an important component in addressing the problem of inner-city gun-related violence as its combination of programs, services and community involvement can be connected to the crime prevention recommendations made by the CDC.
“Having a safe place with great programs to call our own for after-school and other activities will be a much-appreciated addition for Wilmington teens,” said Tyler David, a sophomore at Howard High School who invited guests to join him for a virtual tour of the proposed Warehouse design and layout.
Renovations will begin immediately.
The Warehouse is scheduled to open in August 2019. In the meantime, teens will be working with The Warehouse leadership team to create services.