Founded in 1949, Variety Boys & Girls Club serves children in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Club’s mission is to “provide young people positive alternatives that build self-reliant, tolerant citizens who strive to make a difference.” The Club’s educational, recreational and guidance programs for children ages 7-17 serve as significant alternatives to the gang activity and drugs rampant in the community. The Club’s enrichment programs encourage local youth to actively engage in learning and to ensure they have the tools that they need for success in post-secondary school and beyond. When Club members graduate high school, they are often the first in their extended family to do so. 43 of the 65 most recent high school senior Club members graduated high school and 71% of those went on to college or university.
The Club was previously housed in an outdated 85-year old building in dire need of improvements. This building limited the number of services the Club could offer and the quality of programs it could provide to neighborhood children. The Club has worked closely with McCormack Baron Salazar’s Pueblo del Sol affordable housing community for many years. In 2009, the Club approached the developer and MBS Urban Initiatives to discuss options for improving their facility. The team agreed that a new headquarters for the Club would bring the most benefit to the low-income population the nonprofit serves daily.
The new $13.8 million 26,655 square foot building was developed by McCormack Baron Salazar and financed through New Markets Tax Credits provided by MBS Urban Initiatives. It includes a learning and technology center, recreational facilities, kitchen, dedicated teen center, college guidance and career center, arts and crafts center, a media center, a community room and a library. The new building has enabled the nonprofit to increase available youth development programs to serve 4,000 at-risk and primarily low-income youth per year, 98% of whom are Hispanic/Latino.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.