The Heights Center stood as a shell for four years after the real estate crash forced a philanthropist to rescind a $4 million dollar pledge. But because of the generous support of local donors, along with the tenacity and dedicated work of our Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, employees, volunteers, the residents of Harlem Heights and the Harlem Heights Improvement Association, we were able to make the Center a reality.
In 2014, the Heights Center and our partners accomplished so much:
School Success provided 41,500 hours of Afterschool programming, Summer Camp engaged 160 children all summer long, College 101 workshops were offered to teens, and 468 students received school supplies.
Family Advocacy provided $10,000 in emergency assistance, keeping lights on and helping avoid foreclosure. More importantly, our advocacy team coached families facing trouble to help build life skills, connect with employment opportunities, and avoid future crisis. Our team worked with 337 individuals this year.
Arts and Enrichment activities blossomed and children and adults took advantage of art classes, youth sports, and fitness classes. The Harlem Heights Youth Chorus is in rehearsals for its first concert!
Pathways to Prosperity programs are growing. GED classes are being completed by over 50 individuals. ESL classes have expanded to 3 nights each week, financial management and computer classes are regularly offered. Most exciting is the start of the Culinary Arts job training program in January, 2015.
The Heights Medical Clinic provided medical services to more than 550 individuals in 2014 as well as providing health advocacy programs.
Outreach programs provided Thanksgiving groceries for 1,200 people, and more than 1,000 Christmas gifts in partnership with Gladiolus Learning and Development Center.
We continue to grow our collaborations with other agencies and are proud to serve as the lead agency for the Harlem Heights United Way House. The Heights Center is a place for our community to gather – we have hosted weddings, professional meetings and musical events. Our 4ourth Friday celebrations bring together hundreds of Harlem Heights community members for fun and fellowship each month.