SAN DIEGO – San Diego has battled a spike in violent crime in recent months with the city’s Mt. Hope and Mountain View neighborhoods impacted by incidents of gang violence and deadly shootings.

But one community church is trying to change that by bridging the gaps.

The new Bridge Community Center, part of the Bridge Church, recently opened at the corner of Ocean View Boulevard and South 37th Street. It is open throughout the week and features a variety of activities for community members. The center also opens its doors on Sundays for church service.

While the church has been in the neighborhood for decades, it’s recently seen a renovation in hopes of branching out to more than just its members.

“The bridge is not only our name, but it’s actually who we are, what we do,” Pastor Steve Marron said. “It’s our passion.”

The surrounding neighborhoods both have been a recent hot spot for gang violence. So, Marron made the decision to make the church a focal point for community members.

“We are not trying to say there is no room for gangs here, we are trying to say how can we change the course for gang activity,” said Marron.

The center has partnered with several organizations to help provide educational and entertaining activities to the community.

“Jui Jitsu to boxing to cross-fit– alternatives; we are going to have events here that will be able to do activities that will be inclusive for kids, for children, youth for young adults,” said Pastor Marron.

Pastor Marron has been in contact with city leaders to help bridge the community together.  

“We are trying to create a safe place, that will really mark a difference in change, that will really mark a difference for something that will really propel to something bigger,” said Pastor Marron.

To contact the Bridge Church, you can visit its website.