Focused of Fitness: Non-profit provides affordable, accessible gym

Local News

The Mississippi Urban League fixed a community need when the non-profit organization turned an old building into a safe place to work out.

“One of the things the community said is that we need an affordable, safe, fitness center in the community,” Chief Executive Officer Beneta Burt said.

What used to house a grocery store years ago, now serves as a gym for the community. It’s located on Livingston Road, next to the Jackson Medical Mall.

The membership is only $10 a month. But the organization understands its community. “Under special circumstances we allow people to come in. Because we don’t want ten dollars to be a barrier,” Burt said.

It’s that type of open door attitude that prompted the Urban League to offer Jackson Public School’s Stepping Out Academy to use the gym for free.

The academy is made up of 19 to 21-year-olds who need a little extra help in their day-to-day activities.

“The program is to get them more acclimated with their social skills. Going out into the community and coming to the gym is a part of it,” Alberta Gilbert, one of the academy’s instructors said.

Burt says the Urban League offers the gym to the academy twice a week because they are able to provide them with the attention they need.

The gym isn’t too busy. Plus it provides them with a comfortable place to learn how to use the equipment.

The Mississippi Urban League also hosts line dancing classes, and operates a food pantry for the community.

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