SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Central City Boxing & Barbell is a non-profit gym started by a Springfield police officer.

The goal is to give at-risk youth a place to learn and grow, but right now, the future of the facility is in jeopardy.

Every day at 3 p.m., Dean Fay goes from police officer to coach.

Fay grew up boxing and after spending years working as a Springfield police officer, he saw a need to bring a boxing center to the city to help at risk youth.

In March 2017, he opened Central City Boxing and Barbell.

"This becomes their safe haven. This becomes a place where they get out of school and they come here. It's not just about boxing. It's about learning life values and learning that work ethic, that perseverance, that determination and how to be a productive member of society," Fay explained.

Nasir Hunt of Ludlow added, "Staying out of trouble, getting my grades right, and not messing up in school.v Staying focused, it got me out of trouble."

Fay told Western Mass News that the gym trains more than 60 kids but a few weeks ago, he unexpectedly found out the building they're located in was sold.

"I haven't heard anything. I don't know where we are with this. We have a lot of money and a lot of memories and a lot invested in this place and unfortunately, we have no place to go right now," Fay added.

The gym tries to collect $40 a month for membership fees, but Fay said that it's rare when they see even half the kids able to pay.

"I will never turn a kid down. I have kids who comes every day. They pull up on their bike and say 'Hey, I want to box.' We see what we got for money and we pay whatever bills we can and whatever we don't, we crack our wallets and make it happen. It's getting increasingly more difficult to pay," Fay said.

To donate or help Central City Boxing and Barbell, you can CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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