The city of Yakima will open its new Youth and Family Development Center today at the former Police Athletic League building on North 4th Street.

City officials say it's the first step in an ongoing effort to steer young kids away from gang life. Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi says he believes the city will see young kids steering away from gangs in the first year.

“We’re hoping within a year or two we’ll see some kids turning away from gangs. And in 5 to 10 years we hope to see the number of gang memberships dropping dramatically.”

The city has created partnerships with community organizations like People For People, the YMCA and The Union Gospel Mission to help kids and families with the resources they need to change lives and keep kids out of gangs.

An open house is set for today at the center located at 602 North 4th Street in Yakima.