Harlem Heights is a severely distressed community, with kids living in poverty at twice the rate of the rest of Lee County. The solution to poverty is education and opportunity. With your help, we can provide tutoring for kids struggling in school, job training for hard working parents, and access to lifelong education and wellness–creating an entirely different future for families in our community.

The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. Our mission is to:

  • Support education and wellness,
  • Promote family and community development, and
  • Provide the benefits of enrichment and the arts.


The foundation is a grassroots, hands-on organization that celebrates the strength and diversity of the community and has the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty. Its work supports community development programs for individuals, students, and families, and provides charitable outreach projects in the community.

The Heights Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is solely charitable and educational. Kathryn Kelly, Executive Director, was inspired to start the foundation in 1999 as a result of a Thanksgiving outreach project in the community. Her consistent dedication, and the support of countless volunteers and supporters, has seen the foundation’s work grow significantly over the past decade. Read more about Kathryn and the Board of Directors on the leadership page.


  • Develop responsive, holistic family development opportunities benefiting the residents of Harlem Heights
  • Work in collaboration with organizations to meet community needs in an efficient, comprehensive manner
  • Advance economic self-sufficiency through occupational training, adult education, and employment support
  • Promote community connections and preserve cultural heritage, honoring the strengths and assets community members possess
  • Provide a web of learning and enrichment opportunities to learners of all ages
  • Support wellness and personal growth including health advocacy and support for vulnerable members of the community
  • Foster the benefits of consistent, inclusive access to the expressive and cultural arts
  • Enrich learning, play, and expressive opportunities with values, character, and integrity