As the summer heats up, a violence prevention program has a new place to chill.
Ice The Beef, the anti-violence group started by Darrell “D-Russ” Allick, Thursday moved into a new headquarters in a parks department building near the corner of Goffe Street and Sherman Avenue.
Ice The Beef will run programs for teens all year round out of the building, said Allick. Until now, his organization has been peripatetic, meeting in various borrowed spaces around town.
Allick said the new space will allow Ice The Beef to continue its work with 13- to 17-year-olds, who in turn act as mentors for 9- to 12-year-olds. Allick said Ice The Beef teaches anger management, conflict resolution, and “The 5 Rs”: Rules, Responsibility, Respect, Resolve, and Results. The organization works with role-playing and group communication, as well as workshops. Ice The Beef takes kids on trips to visit museums, go roller-skating, bowling, and visit places like Six Flags amusement park and the basketball Hall of Fame.
The parks department’s Felicia Shashinka said the building Ice The Beef is taking over was a community center, and used to be used by summer caps. “It hasn’t been used in quite some time,” she said.
Allick (pictured) offered a tour of the building.
“We might use this for computers,” he said, pointing out a small room off a central hallway.
Allick pointed out his and hers handicap-accessible bathrooms.
In the building’s central meeting room, street outreach worker Doug Bethea was addressing Ice The Beef participants.
Allick pointed out a small storage room that he said he hopes to turn into a recording studio. Almost all the teens he works with want to make music of some kind, he said. Sometimes young people will pull street robberies to pay for studio time, he said.
Allick was brimming with gratitude for the new space. He rattled off a list of organizations that have helped Ice The Beef, including the Board of Ed, the police department, United Way, and the Community Foundation. And he thanked God, for saving his life “not once but three or four times.”
“It’s a start,” he said of the new building. “Now we have a home.”
Ice The Beef is entirely supported by donations and the sale of Ice The Beef T-shirts, Allick said. People who want to give donations can send them to P.O. Box 2931, New Haven CT 06515.