In years past, most children and young adults who benefited from community-based programming were located very close to the city center. However, in our ever-changing and growing city of Nashville, we have seen a shift in neighborhoods over the last 5 years, influenced by gentrification, which has led to the migration of affordable housing out into the suburbs. As a result, residents who have their identity in a particular place are having to relocate to new places, to Antioch, Rivergate, Bordeaux, Bellevue and other places, away from their beloved neighborhoods. Meanwhile, most nonprofit buildings and headquarters are still very close to downtown or in the once low income neighborhoods that are changing so rapidly.
In 2015, Nashville saw this upheaval lived out in the scariest of ways, as evidenced by the recent redistribution of crime. In these neighborhoods, the murder rate spiked, drug addictions rose to overwhelming levels, and violence against teens rose to an alarming 19 murder victims age 19 or younger in 2015. The youth of these neighborhoods face unique problems as they try to rise above their circumstances and their family cycles, with their external community support systems no longer in place. Relocation can be scary, with many trying to establish new territories and find their own way. Yet the centers established to attack the problems faced by those growing up in low income households have not adapted to the changes. It has become obvious that a mobile community support model is needed to provide for the needs of these youth as their environments consistently change.
While there are a lot of sports-based offerings in the Nashville area, there is no low-cost alternative for the many kids whose parents cannot afford the current training options. 17.15 Sports seeks to fulfill both of these needs by creating a mobile community support model that provides affordable and convenient programming options, using the vehicle of sports to tackle big issues facing our youth.