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Guest Blog Post: LCPtracker Case Study

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 1, 2017
Updated: Friday, December 1, 2017


The Challenge

After Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans in 2005, the City found themselves in the midst of the costliest natural disaster to ever hit the United States. The storm wreaked havoc on both private and public places, leaving much to repair and rebuild, with many citizens out of work and homes. Today, streets, parks, hospitals, public buildings, airport terminals, bridges and other infrastructure make up just some of the 70+ active projects underway. "We are building a city for the future and we are committed to moving New Orleans forward." said Ashleigh Gardere, Network for Economic Opportunity Executive Director. The City of New Orleans has since developed programs to reinvest in the local community in an effort to not only recreate the metropolis with new, modern infrastructure, but to also reinvigorate the local economy. In October of 2015, Hire NOLA, a local worker participation ordinance, was passed. Hire NOLA seeks to ultimately employ 50% local workers on all City-funded projects by the year 2020, which means there is a colossal amount of tracking and reporting that needs to happen. Starting in 2016 the graduated Hire NOLA goals took effect; with an initial goal of 30% local worker participation city-funded projects, 10% disadvantaged local workers and 10% disadvantaged local apprentice goals. The City needed a way to report their progress. 

The Solution

Through the use of the LCPtracker Professional solution, the City has been able to process the certified payrolls (CPRs) for over $157 million worth of public works construction projects. The collection of these CPRs allows for in-depth, employee demographic data to be collected and reported on, giving the needed ability to track and observe progress on Hire NOLA goals. In 2015 alone, 2,091 CPRs passed through the system. "One of the best things we can do is check all of our projects in one afternoon. There are huge time savings. I cannot imagine how long it would take to do certified payroll without LCPtracker." said Gardere. With LCPtracker, the City is able to know where the workers are coming from, if they qualify as disadvantaged, what classifications they work, as well as the amount of hours worked. Most importantly, they can confirm instantly that all workers are paid the proper prevailing wage and the late report feature ensures contractors are not able to slip under the radar. The information entered into these reports also allows them to do goal tracking. Thus, the City can recognize and fix issues as they arise. 

Benefits

The use of LCPtracker allows the City of New Orleans to broaden their horizons for public works project reporting. "We were able to increase the types of projects monitored. It had been mostly federally-funded projects that we tracked, but we realized city-funded jobs were missing. So now we capture a whole new source of projects." explained Gardere. The agency’s goals are well-underway and being tracked in the LCPtracker system, which enables City decision makers and the community to consider the impact each project is having. The City has benefited most from the prevailing wage compliance features, which allows them to load in wage rates and classifications to ensure employees are classified and paid properly. The most notable project to be run through the system to date is the New Orleans East Hospital. This $130 million project had 75 different contractors working on it and over 2,000 CPRs that needed to be submitted and monitored. LCPtracker Professional helped the City to easily review this tremendous amount of payrolls, and gave prime contractors access to the same information, thereby providing seamless communication and transparency on one of the biggest projects the City has undertaken in recent years. Moving forward, the City has come to appreciate what a valuable tool the system can be to their strategies and urban planning. The extensive workforce reports available provide a wide range of data to allow for an in-depth analysis of project impact and goal tracking. New Orleans has big plans for the future of rebuilding both the city and the community. 

About The City of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans, led by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, is a local municipality with 4,600 employees. Located in the state of Louisiana, New Orleans has a vibrant culture that is well-known around the world. With a population of nearly 400 thousand, it is the largest metropolitan area in the state. Founded in 1718 by French Colonists, the city reflects a mixture of French and Creole influence that makes it one of the most unique cities in the nation.
 

 

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NACCED Member Spotlight: Fresno County

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

HOME an Essential Component to Public-Private Partnership Project

When it comes to public-private partnerships in affordable housing, public funds such as the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program help communities leverage important private investment.  One example of such a partnership can be found in the Cueva de Oso at William Shockley Plaza, a HOME-funded affordable housing development project in the Fresno County city of Selma, CA.  The development is a new 48-unit tax credit project that replaced a former deteriorated 25-unit public housing apartment project called Shockley Terrace located on the same site. 

The total project cost was $14.5 million, of which $700,000 was provided via HOME funds from NACCED Member Fresno County’s Urban County HOME grant program.  Gigi Gibbs, a community development manager with Fresno County, praised the use of the HOME program in this project and stressed its importance to affordable housing development. “Without this program, there aren’t a lot of resources available from governments to get involved in the development of affordable housing,” she said. “It’s really important to know these projects are a public-private partnership in funding. That’s what makes it work. It’s not all one source that can make these quality buildings happen.”

The development consists of 8 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units, 16 three-bedroom units, and 2 four-bedroom units, making it attractive to both small and large families.  The project is affordable to families earning between 30% to 60% of area median income, and was fully leased before it was completed in August, 2017. 

Eleven families that previously resided in the former public housing project onsite chose to move into in the new development, and are thrilled with the new amenities.  In addition to providing more affordable housing units, the new project contains new amenities for residents, including a large outdoor grassy play/picnic area with BBQ’s, a children’s playground, community garden space, and a community center including a community room complete with a large flat-screen television for viewing parties, a large fully-equipped kitchen, fitness center, computer lab and management offices.

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NACCED Webinar: Washington Update

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 10, 2017
NACCED Webinar: Washington Update
NACCED is pleased to hold a webinar providing an update about the latest happenings in Washington. This webinar is free for members only on Friday, October 13th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET. NACCED’s webinars are a special member benefit, so make sure to register today!

This year has brought many changes for Washington from a new administration to a shifting tone in Congress. Are you wondering what’s happening with the federal budget process or if tax reform will happen? Do you want to know what changes are happening at HUD? Join NACCED Policy Director, Heather Voorman, to explore these questions and get an update on the latest activities in Washington that may have an effect on what you do at the local level.
Cost: FREE to members. $50 for nonmembers. Registration is required before briefing.
Questions? Please send an email to  info@nacced.org or call (202) 367-1149

Visit us at  www.nacced.org

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NACCED Recognizes Outstanding Counties with Awards of Excellence in 2017

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 28, 2017
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017

NACCED Recognizes Outstanding Counties with Awards of Excellence in 2017

The National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) honored several members for outstanding work in the field of affordable housing and community and economic development during its 42nd Annual Educational Conference and Training in Portland, OR. Each year, NACCED recognizes the many achievements of America's counties through the Annual Awards of Excellence program.

During the annual Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon, member counties were recognized for their notable initiatives in seven categories:

Affordable Housing

Allegheny County Economic Development: Dave Wright Apartments

The Dave Wright Apartments, built through a partnership between the ACTION-Housing and the Autism Housing Development Corporation of Pittsburgh (AHDCP), is Pennsylvania’s first community comprised of quality housing for adults with autism integrated together with typical families, and to link both to employment opportunities and supportive services. The project was funded through tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and with development funds from Allegheny County Economic Development.

Community Development

Housing Authority of Los Angeles County: The Growing Experience in Environmental Resource

The Growing Experience (TGE) is a seven-acre facility located in North Long Beach, California, within the Carmelitos public housing development, operated by the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles.  TGE is a resource serving the residents of Carmelitos as well as the greater Los Angeles-Long Beach community. Programs and activities showcase environmental sustainability, such as the aquaponics system which produces three to four times more fresh produce than traditional growing methods with a smaller footprint. Additionally, the facility strives for water and resource conservation, and the research and implementation of new technologies to increase productivity. 

Economic Development

Salt Lake County Housing & Community Development: Columbus Secure Shredding Facility Upgrade: Creating Jobs for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

The Columbus Community Center has been creating meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities for over 5 decades. The Columbus main campus has a secure document shredding business that employs 50 individuals with severe disabilities, helping these individuals overcome the obstacles they face to become employed. Salt Lake County Housing & Community Development helped make capital upgrades to their facility including a new air filtration system. These improvements help create a healthy and safe environment for employees and accommodate the expansion of the business, providing more jobs for individuals with severe disabilities.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

County of Essex Division of Housing and Community Development: Essex County HOME Program - Downtown Partners Mixed Income

When the opportunity arose for the redevelopment of vacant land adjoining an abandoned post office terminal by the RPM Development Group and its project affiliate, Downtown Partners Mixed Income, LP, Essex County provided additional HOME funding to augment the investments from the City HOME program and other public/private lenders to fully fund the project. As a result of this public/private partnership, an underutilized land parcel located in the downtown area just blocks from Newark City Hall, which previously communicated blight and decay, is now a newly constructed mixed use/mixed income 87-unit complex. The complex is contributing to the invigoration of downtown Newark while providing improved housing options for current residents and attracting outsiders seeking to relocate from higher rent areas.

Homeless Coordination/Assistance

Community Development Commission of County of Los Angeles: Families Coming Home Together

In 2014, the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission (CDC) and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) collaborated to create the Families Coming Home Together pilot program. The pilot program consisted of 25 identified DCFS families where homelessness was the sole barrier to the return of the children. The families that met program requirements were reunited with their children after receiving approval from the Dependency Court. The pilot was successful in enrolling 23 of the 25 identified families and housed 14 families.

Innovation

County of Fairfax, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA): Residences at the Government Center

The Residences at Government Center “Residences” is an affordable workforce housing development created by a unique public-private partnership between the County of Fairfax, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), Jefferson Apartment Group, Stratford Capital Group, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). What makes the “Residences” so unique is the innovative public-private partnership that was formed to address such a critical need in the community. By leveraging county land, the community was built at no cost to the local taxpayer. It was the first project in Virginia to employ a hybrid financial structure utilizing both 9 percent and 4 percent Low- Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to fund its development.

Planning/Policy/Program Management

Twin Cities Section 3 Collaborative: An Innovative Regional Certification and Referral System for Contractors and Section 3 Resident Employees, Businesses and Contractors

In the Twin Cities area there are numerous city and county entitlement communities and several public housing authorities. In the past, individuals and businesses had to apply to each individual jurisdiction to obtain Section 3 Eligibility certification. A certification received in one jurisdiction was not accepted in another. Over the past 7 years, program managers have been meeting to formulate a better, more efficient way to engage Section 3 workers and businesses by working collaboratively. HUD's national register was not of benefit. In 2010, the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County created an online worker registration and database to share Section 3 data registrations. With the technology in place, the other entitlement jurisdictions were able to see how a central regional database could work and began formalizing a cooperative structure that included compromise in order to standardize. This is the first local initiative of its type in the US.

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NACCED Holds 42nd Annual Educational Conference and Training

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 21, 2017

NACCED held its Annual Educational Conference and Training September 10-13th in Portland, Oregon. The event was hosted by the local Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. The event kicked-off with the first ever HUD Brainstorming session. This new addition to the program allowed attendees to get those sticky questions for HUD on the table. The session brought many thoughtful questions to the surface and also spurred important discussions. A list of final questions was sent to HUD officials and were addressed during the HUD briefing on Monday morning of the conference. This session also offered another first for the conference as NACCED members were joined with NWACDM members. The Northwest Association of Community Development Managers (NWACDM) is an organization of CDBG and HOME entitlement communities from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and this year they held their annual conference in conjunction with NACCED’s. It was a great opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with innovative leaders in the Northwest!

Also on Sunday NACCED held its committee meetings. The housing committee had a guest speaker from the local organization Bridge Meadows. Bridge Meadows is an intergenerational living community that provides a unique neighborhood model to serve foster youth, adoptive parents, and seniors. Renee Moseley from the organization explained the dynamic outcomes of pairing seniors with foster children and their parents in everything from childcare, to tutoring, to mentorship. You can learn more about their groundbreaking model at their website here: https://www.bridgemeadows.org.

The Community Development, Economic Development, Education, and Membership Committees also had thought-provoking discussions. The Community Development Committee looked at best practices for using CDBG funds for infrastructure activities and combining them with HOME projects. The Economic Development Committee had a timely discussion on using CDBG Disaster Recovery and other funds to help spur economic development following a natural disaster. The Education Committee started their meeting with the theme music for NACCED’s new podcast and NACCED staff gave a brief overview of the first episode that aired at the end of August. Discussion also included future podcast ideas and educational and training opportunities for NACCED. The Membership Committee talked about strategy for building membership in 2018 and potentially adding a new membership category for students.

The main conference commenced Monday morning with a welcome from NACCED President Chuck Robbins, Jim Bernard, Chair of Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, Deborah Kafoury, Chair of Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, and a video welcome from Senator Patty Murray (WA). The morning general sessions included a briefing from HUD’s new Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, Neal Rackleff, along with Stan Gimont, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs and Adam Norlander, Special Assistant, Office of Community Planning and Development. The morning was finished off with a general session with Israel Bayer of Street Roots. Israel shared his experience working to find solutions to homelessness in the Pacific Northwest.

In the afternoon, attendees chose from three different breakout session tracks, Policy, Housing, and Technology and Services, that featured sessions regarding everything from public-private partnerships to fair housing strategies. You can view the full program on our website here. The day ended with the annual John C. Murphy Scholarship Fund Silent Auction at the Portland Housing Bureau Rooftop. This year, given the devastation in due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the NACCED Board and Scholarship Committee Chair decided to donate 100% of the proceeds raised at this year’s silent auction to hurricane relief efforts. It was an exciting opportunity to be able to award the scholarship this year to a deserving student based in Ramsey County, MN as well as aid in the relief efforts.  The auction included a number of great gift baskets, local delicacies, and homemade items. The grand total raised was $2,050! It was a great night and an extra special thanks is due to the Portland Housing Bureau for covering the costs of the venue and to ZoomGrants for sponsoring this successful event.

Tuesday was another packed day, starting off with a video welcome from Senator Ron Wyden (OR), and Kenny LaPoint from Oregon Housing and Community Services. The morning general session was presented by Amanda Saul, Enterprise Community Partners, Julia Doty, NW Housing Alternatives, and Dana Schultz, Central City Concern on the nexus between health and housing. The breakout sessions later that day included diverse topics including tiny homes, Silicon Valley’s response to the housing crisis, and navigating the changing world of low-income housing tax credits.

The luncheon on Tuesday included the NACCED Awards of Excellence ceremony for 2017. There were a number of great applicants this year and the following counties were presented awards during the ceremony: 

·         Homeless Coordination/Assistance—Community Development Commission of Los Angeles County: Families Coming Home Together

·         Community Development—Housing Authority of Los Angeles County: The Growing Experience in Environmental Resource

·         Planning/Policy/Program Management—Twin Cities Section 3 Collaborative: An Innovative Regional Certification and Referral System for Contractors and Section 3 Resident Employees, Businesses and Contractors

·         Innovation—County of Fairfax, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA): Residences at the Government Center

·         Economic Development—Salt Lake County Housing & Community Development: Columbus Secure Shredding Facility Upgrade: Creating Jobs for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

·         Affordable Housing—Allegheny County Economic Development: Dave Wright Apartments

·         HOME Investment Partnerships Program—County of Essex Division of Housing and Community Development: Essex County HOME Program - Downtown Partners Mixed Income

 

Also during the luncheon, attendees had the opportunity to hear the conference keynote speaker, Dr. Derek Hyra, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Dr. Hyra shared his research on neighborhood change, emphasizing housing, urban politics, and race. Many of these concepts are ideas he explored in his recently completed third book, Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City. Dr. Hyra’s research has also been showcased in both academic journals, and popular media outlets, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, Chicago Public Radio, C-SPAN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. It was a special opportunity for attendees to learn from Dr. Hyra’s research and ask questions about how counties can implement these ideas at the local level.

The day concluded with the conference-wide event at the Oregon Zoo. Attendees got a backstage glance at the life of a zookeeper, feeding giraffes and seeing the animals after hours. Following the animal encounters, everyone got their dancing shoes out and boogied on the dance floor!

The conference finished with a bus tour on Wednesday morning. The tour was put on by the Fair Housing Council of Oregon and explored the hidden discriminatory history of Portland. Three featured speakers told their personal stories of discrimination, starting with Beatrice Cannon Gilmore who told the story of her family coming to Portland in the 1940s. She and her family lived through the Vanport flood that wiped out an entire African American community in the Portland suburbs. Valerie Otani, a local artist who designed the traditional Japanese gates in the Portland Expo Center Max Station, described the horrific conditions Japanese-Americans faced in the internment camps during World War II. Finally, Randy Blazak shared stories about his time doing an undercover study of the skinheads and other hate groups and some of the violent acts they perpetrated against African Americans in the Portland area. It was a sobering look at how discriminatory practices can affect communities.

Thank you to all the speakers, sponsors, hosts, and volunteers that made this year’s conference possible. It is because of NACCED’s dedicated members and partners that we are able to have successful events such as this. Please stay tuned for more information coming soon regarding the 43rd NACCED Annual Educational Conference and Training, September 23-26, 2018 at The Commons Hotel, Minneapolis, MN. We can’t wait to see you all there! 

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NACCED Holds Housing Policy Working Group with Administration, HUD Officials

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 7, 2017

Last Thursday, NACCED members met with White House staff in a first of its kind housing policy working group, spearheaded by NACCED. The purpose of the meeting was to allow NACCED members the opportunity to communicate directly with decision makers at the federal level about current challenges in housing policy, as well as solutions, in a member-driven conversation.

Representing NACCED was Chuck Robbins (Clackamas County, OR and NACCED President), Patricia Ward (Tarrant County, TX and NACCED Executive Committee), George Serio (Essex County, NJ and NACCED Board member) and Jennifer Daniels (Arlington County, VA and NACCED Board member). NACCED was joined by several National Association of Local Housing Finance Agency (NALHFA) members who together developed the agenda for the meeting.

Ja’Ron Smith, Director of Urban Affairs and Revitalization for the White House, kicked off the meeting by sharing where the Administration was on a number of housing related issues. He said they are still working on a tax reform policy and getting into the weeds on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. He acknowledged that Congress is in a good spot with LIHTC, but they are still crafting their position on the program and how it relates to tax reform. The Administration is also very focused on what housing looks like in rural communities and finding housing solutions that address issues in a holistic way while at the same time empowering people. They are also looking at economic development programs and trying to create connectivity and coordination with housing programs. 

Ralph Gaines, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (CPD) at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also provided a brief overview of CPD’s strategy on housing to the group. He said CPD is taking a step back and trying to be innovative within their current structure. They are working on interconnecting programs, getting private participation in HUD projects, building opportunities, and developing public interest in their activities. Overall, they are working to enhance the things that are working, address the things that are not working, and identify opportunities for growth within the Department. Johnson Joy, HUD’s Chief Information Officer was also present in the meeting and he gave a brief overview of his work to identify these areas within HUD’s information systems. 

Next, Chuck Robbins gave an introduction for NACCED and NALHFA, talking about successful areas in affordable housing, and areas that need improvement. He identified LIHTC as the number one tool for developing and preserving affordable housing, but pointed out with the current affordable housing crisis, more needs to be done to grow and enhance the program. The credits are not worth as much as they were 2 years ago, especially with the looming threat of a lowered corporate tax rate. Furthermore, programs like HOME have had funding steadily decrease over the last 10 years, making it harder and harder to find projects that can be funded by the program. He also outlined the rising costs of housing, including increased labor and material costs and a lack of contractors, subcontractors, and skilled laborers. 

Eric Enderlin, NALHFA member and President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYCHDC), said the best way to enhance and increase LIHTC resources is to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) as it increases the housing credits by 50% and provides much needed stability to the program. Rich Froehlich, NALHFA Board Member and Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President & General Council for NYCHDC, pointed out that the legislation also provides much needed support for the development of affordable housing in rural areas. Additionally, the income averaging provision of the legislation will help all jurisdictions by giving the program greater flexibility and allowing communities to serve a broader set of incomes, improving economic feasibility. Froehlich went on to point out that these outcomes all serve much of what the Administration has set as its goals for affordable housing: increased flexibility, greater program efficiency, improved access in underserved areas, and enhanced public-private partnerships. 

The meeting took a turn to infrastructure and economic development when Smith told the group the Administration is still very committed to pushing an improved infrastructure policy focused on economic development and local control. Froehlich asked if housing would be part of the infrastructure plan, and Smith indicated that the door is not closed on housing being considered in infrastructure reform, but the President’s plan is focused on big ticket items like bridges, broadband, transportation, and roads. Patricia Ward noted that quality housing is a huge part of infrastructure development and it is an economic development tool that allows renters to have buying power they otherwise would not have. 
Robbins also pointed out that the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is largely used for infrastructure development at the local level. He went on to describe the importance of local infrastructure development such as safe drinking water infrastructure, wastewater facilities, ADA accessible sidewalks, and community roads. These projects rely on federal investment, and if the CDBG program continues to lose funds, it will have a detrimental effect on communities across the country. 

A theme that continued to reverberate throughout the conversation, especially by Richard Youngblood, Special Assistant for HUD’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, is the need for more public-private partnerships in affordable housing programs. Youngblood described the conversations he has had with business owners across the country and how there is increased interest in these types of relationships due to the President’s emphasis on economic growth. Previously, he said many business owners were intimidated by getting involved with the federal government because there are so many regulations and laws to comply with. They see these barriers as potential liabilities for their bottom line. Youngblood encouraged the group to outline the reasons why local businesses and nonprofits stay away from public-private partnerships as this will help HUD and the Administration craft policy that will be more encouraging of these partnerships. 

The White House and HUD staff echoed the need for NACCED and NALHFA members to outline what is working and what is not working for affordable housing programs. Specifically, they would like to know of regulations and other barriers that make it more difficult to efficiently and effectively utilize these programs. Furthermore, they want to keep the dialogue open between NACCED and NALHFA and continue this conversation through future policy working group meetings. Finally, they would like to hear your success stories, especially programs where you have utilized public-private partnerships or have developed other unique relationships that have enhanced these programs. This is an exclusive opportunity for NACCED members to have direct contact with federal decision makers as they develop the policies that will affect future affordable housing, community, and economic development programs. If you have comments or stories you would like to share, please contact NACCED Policy Director, Heather Voorman, at hvoorman@nacced.org.   

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Member Spotlight: Salt Lake County

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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.”

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