On August 10, 1965, the Boys Clubs of Greater New Orleans was chartered as a Louisiana nonprofit corporation. The Downtown Unit opened on June 10, 1968 and New Orleans joined the ranks of other major US cities which obtained Boys Clubs of America services. The Westbank Unit opened on January 20, 1969 in Gretna. The Slidell Unit opened with support from the Louisiana Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). The Westbank Unit relocated to a more centralized area of Gretna in April 1986 and signed a ten year lease with the city of Gretna. The Slidell Unit reached a historic moment as a new 7,500 square foot facility was dedicated on September 27, 1989 in Possum Hollow Park. This was the first facility actually built for the Clubs in the organizational history. The Bureau of Justice Assistance provided support to open the Covington and Houma units in 1999. This addition allowed us to serve youth from across Southeast Louisiana. Boys & Girls Clubs of America collaborated with NFL Charities to establish the NFL-YET Club in New Orleans. For several years the NFL has established these sites in cities that host Superbowls. In later years the NFL has partnered with local Boys & Girls Clubs to develop a site with life-changing programming provided by Clubs along with the innumerable benefits if being a partner with the NFL and New Orleans Saints.
The organization officially changed its name to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater New Orleans in 1991 as they began providing services for girls at the Slidell Unit in May. Services and programming for girls soon thereafter became available at the other sites. In 1993 the Boys Clubs of New Orleans became a participating member agency of The United Fund which is now known as the United Way of New Orleans, an organization with which we proudly partner. The Hammond Unit charted independently but joined our organization in September 1996. The name was changed again in February 1999 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana, Inc. to better reflect the service area.
As with most of the community, our organization was severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed or severely damaged all of our sites. Our NFL and Slidell sites withstood extensive flooding and required costly and extensive renovations. While not flooded, our West Bank Club did receive major storm damage. While conducting repairs, the organization too the opportunity to add a few more club essentials including a teen center, tech lab and a game room.
The storm also compelled us to secure new locations in Houma, Hammond and Covington. We are appreciative of the Terrebonne Parish Government, St. Tammany School District and St. Paul Baptist Church for extending to us the opportunity to provide a safe place for local Club members to learn and grow.
In April 2008, the organization opened its more recent Club in the Iberville Housing Development. The site is a result of the collaborative effort of Housing & Urban Development, the Housing Authority of New Orleans and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
The Clubs operate in the five parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, Tangipohoa, St. Tammany and Terrebonne. The Clubs are building or facility centered with youth development programming available for children who need us the most. Relevant and diversified programming is directed by professional staff with the goal of assisting the Club members becoming contributing members of society.
Club programs work to achieve three priority outcomes: academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles. Clubs are open in those vulnerable after school hours from 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday during the school year and longer extended hours during summer months and holidays. Our Clubs are situated in neighborhoods and many children walk to and from the Club. We work to give the children opportunities to succeed in school, in work, in families and with each other and put them on a path to great futures. Great Futures Start Here.