A group of people founded the Heights Youth Club (HYC) in 2004 because of their strong belief that kids in our communities needed a safe, enjoyable place to go after school and during summers. These folks researched existing programs and determined that those programs barely made a dent in the need for appropriate, after school youth programming.
Their first two concrete tasks were:
- to initiate conversations with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BGCC) who, because of their outstanding program, were ultimately selected to operate the Heights Youth Club, and
- to find an affordable building to house such a Club.
When the Heights United Presbyterian Church closed its doors, HYC quickly entered into a purchase agreement with the building’s owner. After extensive renovations of the church building and the signing of a formal operating agreement with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, HYC opened its doors to school age kids on January 3, 2007.
Our extremely rapid growth in membership and daily attendance are both powerful indicators that the HYC/BGCC partnership is meeting a real and large community need. What began as a few people’s vision, with early support from the faith-based community, has grown into a community-wide effort with board membership, financial support, and outreach involvement coming from a broad spectrum of the Heights. Continuing community support is essential to assuring a long and fruitful future.