PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) -- In a time where crime on the rise is on everyone's mind, one church in Pine Bluff is trying to prevent it from getting worse in the future by giving the youth fun and safe options.

St. Hurricane Baptist Church is opening its doors to more youth with its new Hurricane HYPE Center. With more than 21,000 square feet, the building will offer community-wide events, youth sports ministries, and an expansion of youth services. They’ll offer after school activities and summer programs.

“I was so surprised because I didn’t expect it to look like this and it’s just something we never had,” said Charla Colen, an incoming high school senior who walked through the new facility for the first time.

Pastor Derick Easter believes a big part of addressing crime in the city is preventing it from happening in the first place.

“We knew that this was something we needed here in Pine Bluff that would allow us to make the biggest impact and the biggest reach,” said Easter.

The grand opening for HYPE is set for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at New St. Hurricane Baptist Church 3319 S. Ohio, Pine Bluff, AR 71601.