CDBG Member Spotlight:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are a flexible form of funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that empower communities to address a wide range of community development and housing needs. One of the most effective ways CDBG funds help low- or moderate-income families succeed is through services. CDBG funds can go to everything from job training to youth services.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake received CDBG funds for not only the construction of all the Boys & Girls Club buildings in Salt Lake County, but also for after school programs that serve low-income children in high-risk areas. These programs give children a safe outlet for learning, sports, and personal growth. Programs serve thousands of youth in the community through intervention and gang prevention programs, coordination of community service projects, tutoring assistance, and free healthy snacks and meals. Of the children served through these programs, 96% are on grade level for their age and 51% expect to attend college.
These programs have deeply affected the lives of thousands of children in the Salt Lake County community. One example comes from a Club member named Emily who attended eleven different schools, moved frequently, and had a GPA that was below 2.0. She was close to dropping out of school and was suffering from abuse and neglect at home. With the help of the Club, Emily obtained stable housing, graduated High School and is currently attending Salt Lake Community College. She is now part of a National Leadership Program where she has had the opportunity to meet a number of Congressional leaders and even spoke to an audience of 1,000 which included then Speaker of the House John Boehner. Emily received the title of Youth of the Year for both the State of Utah and the BGCA Pacific Region, and has received over $60,000 in scholarships to help her achieve her academic goals. Emily credits the Club for her success and says she plans to continue studying Human Services in college so she can return to the Club as a Youth Development Professional and “help other people become somebodies.”