NMTC Case Study for Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne
“Investing in human capital is critical to the current and future success of Fort Wayne. We’re fortunate to live in a community that values young people and the positive impact they can have on our city.”
— Tom Henry, Mayor of Fort Wayne
The Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne (the Club) inspires and enables youth, especially those who need the Club most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Since 1989, the Club has been at the forefront of youth development, working to enrich the lives of at-risk youth through structured, quality afterschool and summer programs and services. The children it serves face daunting challenges, as 72% are from single parent/foster homes and most are from racially diverse neighborhoods where crime, substance abuse, gangs, violence and other risks are prevalent. Studies have shown that between the hours of 3:00-7:00PM, kids are more likely to become involved in risky behaviors. The Club provides a safe haven during those hours where youth are mentored and served a hot meal.
Prior to the Fort Wayne New Markets Revitalization Fund’s (FWNMRF) investment, the Club membership grew over 20% in 18 months. The Club had reached capacity, and it could not fully meet the needs of its teen program. Teens did not have sufficient facilities, which contributed to low membership numbers (14% of members were teens). The new 42,500 square foot facility will have program areas specifically designed for Club programs, including literacy, tutoring, updated technology, STEM, college & career readiness, mentoring, and job readiness and skills training programs. NMTC financing was required to push the project onward and without the financing, only a portion of the project could have proceeded.
In addition to supporting 150 direct jobs, the Club projects that its programs and services will be provided to 1,200 children annually, all of whom are low-income individuals based on each child’s eligibility to participate in the National School Lunch Program. Included in its capacity, 125 children will participate in apprenticeship training, job shadowing or other career development programs annually, and five children will receive college scholarship assistance annually.
FWNMRF’s investment allowed the Club to fully meet the needs of its teen program. For example, there were not sufficient funds to build a new facility that accommodates teens with disabilities. With the NMTC financing, the project incorporated a sensory room that is specially designed to combine a range of stimuli to help youth develop and engage with their senses. Additional technology upgrades allows the teen program to expand its college preparation assistance, job readiness and skills training programs.