Straight Street one step closer to returning

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Straight Street has been shutdown for nearly 20 years, but the organization is returning for its second act later this month.


Executive Director Bob Anderson has spent much of the last year trying to resurrect the once-thriving organization aimed at giving teenagers a safe and supervised place to hang out on the weekends, and his work has finally paid off.

Straight Street is hosting a youth rally at the Dwelling Place church in Christiansburg Saturday, March 25 from 6-10 p.m.

Anderson brought Straight Street to the New River Valley in 1990 after seeing how much success the faith-based program was having in Lynchburg.

Anderson said that he brought the program to the area so that teens could have a safe and supervised place to hangout on the weekends. During its eight-year run, Straight Street had two different locations in Christiansburg, first on North Franklin Street and later on Radford Road.

Anderson said that in its prime, more than 200 teens would come and enjoy a variety of activities on Friday and Saturday nights. He said nights consisted of playing sports, listening to local bands, eating snacks and just hanging out and having a good time.

“The kids loved the program. They had fun and they knew that there were people out there that cared about them,” he said. “People still come up to me and talk about how much it meant to them,”

“The kids loved the program. They had fun and they knew that there were people out there that cared about them,” he said. “People still come up to me and talk about how much it meant to them,”

Anderson said that the rally coming up will be similar to past events and will feature Christian rock band Beauty From Ruins and Christian Rapper Matthew Tuck as well as a show by local performance group Pursuit Drama Team.

Anderson said that churches from all over the New River Valley have expressed interest in the event, and he expects it to be a full house.

“This place is going to be rocking. I can’t wait to see the kids’ reactions,” he said. “I think they are going to be blown away.”

He said that in addition to the live performances, there will also be a meal provided to everyone in attendance as well as door prizes that have been donated from local businesses.

Anderson said he is hoping that the event will help to bring even more awareness to the program that he hopes will turn in to weekly events once again.

Anderson said that he is looking at possible locations for a permanent site, but has not found anything yet. He also noted that renting out a facility or donating a building to a nonprofit is tax deductible, and that he hopes someone will be interested in providing a location.

Anderson said the lasting impact that the program had on former attendees has been his main motivation for trying to bring the program back.

“The kids loved the program. They had fun and they knew that there were people out there that cared about them,” he said. “People still come up to me and talk about how much it meant to them.”

“The kids loved the program. They had fun and they knew that there were people out there that cared about them,” he said. “People still come up to me and talk about how much it meant to them.”

The Dwelling Place is located at 3325 N. Franklin St. in Christiansburg. The rally is open to anyone ages 12-17, and more information about the event can be found at www.straightstreetnrv.org.

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