ATLANTIC CITY – At its monthly meeting July 20, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Board of Directors agreed to reserve $2,169,974.47 to fund the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City three-year Collaborative Health, Education and Community initiative.
Grant funds will be used to expand workforce development and college readiness programming, offer access to new healthcare services, and trauma informed mental health case management annually for 100 Atlantic City teens, ages of 13-18 years old. The initiative is a first of its kind multi-pronged approach that seeks to adopt a comprehensive strategy to addresses trauma, emotional and behavioral health for youth and to fill in the gaps in social services currently offered in Atlantic City.
The CHEC initiative will lay the foundation to establish a network of partners that are solely focused on providing services for Atlantic City’s youth, including AtlantiCare, Atlantic Cape Community College, American Red Cross, Borgata, Apple, Drexel University, Covenant House, Mudgirls Studios, Volunteers of America, Spectra, ServSafe, Adobe and OSHA. It will build and expand upon initiatives that were supported by the CRDA in the past, such as the Earn Learn & Explore program and Community Collaboration.
“The CRDA remains steadfast in reinvesting in Atlantic City’s youth through the support of the Boys and Girls Club’s CHEC initiative,” CRDA Board Chairman Modia Butler said. “We are proud to continue to support an organization who is committed to providing critical services to Atlantic City’s youth.”
The CHEC initiative will provide access to behavioral health and physical health services by licensed professionals during out of school hours at the club – a new feature that is rare for Atlantic City organizations.
“Access to mental health services and trauma informed case management are critical tools to helping Atlantic City’s youth,” CRDA Deputy Executive Director Rose Farias said. “This multi-year grant reaffirms CRDA’s commitment to providing critical services to our youth.”
The total grant for this initiative is $2,169,974.47 payable over a three-year period: $634,285.62 in year one, $765,072.41 in year two, and $770,616.45 in year three.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City has strengthened and expanded its mission to serve not only Club Kids, but also families and the greater Atlantic City community. Highlights include collaborating with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to distribute over 13,000 meals to Club families and the greater community and partnering with local businesses to provide virtual culinary learning.
Board actions will take effect following the expiration of the governor’s statutory review period.