Kids Safe Zone in Baltimore to reopen next week

UPDATE: ABC2 received an email from the interim director of the Kids Safe Zone.

Essence Smith said the Sandtown Winchester location is not closed or moving.

"We are still open and we are still here for the children of Sandtown-Windchester. Our doors will reopen Tuesday, January 30." 

EARLIER:

Only on two, it was born out of the uprising nearly three years ago following the death of Freddie Gray, but tonight it's no more.  The Kids Safe Zone in West Baltimore has closed.

This note on the door is what families found at the popular after school meeting place tonight.

The Kids Safe Zone has been closed until further notice.

It was a safe place for kids to hang out, do homework after school and take field trips.

Ericka Alston-Buck had just been hired by Penn North Recovery Center to run public relations.

After the riots the Kids Safe Zone took on a life of its own funded by grants, donations and support of the Maryland Community Health Initiatives.

She told Kelly Swoope she resigned after she was  presented with the option of returning to her original position or leaving.  She said it broke her heart to close the doors.

"I in no way intended to disappoint the children or their parents or the services that I provided for them and I am 100% committed and that hasn't changed."

Alston-Buck says it's temporary.

She's already looking for a new home for the Kids Safe Zone right in the Sandtown Winchester neighborhood where she says it's needed the most.

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