standard Escaping the Weather, and the Violence: Summer Youth Programs in Coney Island Are a Respite

Heartshare Carey Gardens Coney Summer Youth

Heartshare Carey Gardens Coney Summer Youth programs include games of hoops (Photo by Matthew Taub)

From torrential downpours to evenings thick with humidity, Coney Island youngsters have found a way to escape the oppressive weather while also staying safe.

Thanks to summer youth programs at the Carey Gardens Community Center (sponsored by the Heartshare Human Services Program) children ages 6 to 13 now have a range of after-school programs at their disposal: everything from math games, music time, billiards, foosball, and the all-popular game of hoops.

The summer programs are new, the outgrowth of Mayor de Blasio’s press conference last month encouraging middle school youth to take advantage of free summer enrichment programming. During that announcement, the Mayor also detailed his selection of 271 providers that will oversee expanded after-school programs for middle school students throughout the five boroughs, beginning in September.

Amidst a rising tide of shootings and homicides in the area, such programs are critical, officials say.

“I am pleased that Mayor de Blasio is recognizing the stark need for safety upgrades, expanded hours in community centers and better programs and services for residents,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “We have seen unacceptable levels of violence in buildings throughout Coney Island and other communities and must provide residents with better policing and a safe place to go, especially during the summer months.”

HeartShare Human Services of New York is a non-profit organization and community-based program providing services and support to individuals in need. HeartShare Carey Gardens Cornerstone program (formerly Surfside Gardens), based out of a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) facility, provides out of school time services for children ages 6 – 13 years old to increase their academic ability and boost self-esteem through homework assistance, tutoring, and other enrichment activities. For more information, visit