Go Over the Edge for a Great Cause!

October 21 and 22, 2017 - The Westin Cape Coral Resort

About

 

Who We Are:


The Heights Foundation is a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit working to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood of Fort Myers, Florida.  The Heights Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, is a place for education, opportunity and enrichment.   Our mission is to promote family and community development, support education, opportunity and enrichment.  Our mission is to promote family and community development, support education and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment and cultural arts to the residents of Harlem Heights.

Who We Serve:

The Harlem Heights neighborhood, with a population of nearly 2,000, is a severely distressed community, with families living in poverty at a rate that is significantly higher than the rest of Lee County.  Nearly 800 children and youth live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments.

Originally settled as an agricultural community in the 1940's, real estate development and services industries replaced agricultural jobs in Harlem Heights.  Many families became jobless and were isolated from the social support and development resources available elsewhere.  Lack of access to adequate medical care, dilapidated housing and deplorable social conditions plagued the neighborhood. 

Per Capita Income        Harlem Heights $11,800                    Lee County $29,445  (2011)

Single Parent Families 70%

Spanish Sole Language Spoken in Home  67%

Hispanic  70%                     African-American  20%                  Caucasian  8%

Our History:

The Foundation was formed after a Thanksgiving outreach in 1999 revealed the poor living conditions in the neighborhood.  Volunteers delivering food were stunned at the abject poverty lf neighbors amidst affluence and access.  The Foundation was formed in 2000 to provide resources and create positive changes in the neighborhood.   The 14,000 square foot Heights Center opened in February of 2013. 

Today, The Heights Foundation is providing wide-reaching educational, family development and charitable outreach support. 

What We Do:

The Heights Center's programs provide academic support, job training, continuing education and personal enrichment experiences for children and youth, older individuals, and families.  Programs address the challenges that result from extreme poverty, limited English proficiency, and limited education. 

Promoting self-sufficiency through enrollment in the Center's educational programs encourages individuals and families to achieve their goals in life.  Opportunities to become involved in the arts gives individuals a unique means of expression, capturing their passions and emotions, and allows them to explore new ideas, subject matter and cultures.  All services are provided at no charge to community members.

Last year The Heights Foundation and their partners provided summer camp for 160 children, 39,600 hours of after school care and 445 backpacks filled with supplies.  Enriching after school and summer camp programs, literacy classes and early learning play groups helped children succeed in school.  Adults in the Heights neighborhood benefited from financial education, English as a Second Language, GED classes and volunteer tax assistance.   We operate The Heights Medical Clinic in collaboration with Lee County Volunteers in Medicine and Senior Friendship Centers and have expanded our health advocacy programs.   We continue to grow our collaborations with other agencies and are proud to serve as the lead agency for the Harlem Heights United Way House.