Solana Beach to allocate federal funds to Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito

If the city’s application is approved, Solana Beach will allocate 15 percent of its federal Community Development Block Grant funds to the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.

The city receives about $50,000 annually in federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which are administered locally through the county’s Housing and Community Development Services Department.

The city’s previous three grant applications, which were approved by the council, constructed pedestrian ramps at public street intersections. Because most of these ramps have already been installed throughout the city, the need for ADA ramps has declined. Thus, this year the council asked to use a portion of Community Development Block Grant funds to augment the city’s annual Community Grant Program.

Applications for the grant funds are due Oct. 28. City staff is pursuing 85 percent for ADA improvements and 15 percent, or as much as $7,500, for funding public services.

Representatives from both the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito and Community Resource Center spoke before the council at the Oct. 12 meeting. Ultimately, the council decided to allocate funds to the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito serves more than 6,000 members in San Dieguito and impacts over 10,000 youth across San Diego County every year. The nonprofit has seven clubhouses throughout Carmel Valley, Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach, where there are two sites: the Barbara Harper Branch on Lomas Santa Fe Drive and the La Colonia Branch on Valley Avenue.

Blake Johnson, development director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, said that Community Development Block Grant funds will help support the La Colonia site in Eden Gardens, where the organization serves 110 youth.

“We serve as a social safety net there for their families as well as their younger siblings,” Johnson said.

With an annual budget of $190,000 for the branch, the organization offers a variety of programs, including college and career readiness nights, leaders in training programs, money matters and financial literacy programs and homework power hour.

“These are the kinds of opportunities that we want to continue to see happen over the next years and we want to serve more youth,” Johnson said.

The city has provided funding to both the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito and Community Resource Center through its annual Community Grant Program.

Last year, the city awarded Community Resource Center a $5,000 grant, while the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito received $2,000.

Initially, the council considered splitting the funds between both organizations, but Rebecca Palmer, director of programs for Community Resource Center, expressed some hesitancy to complete the extra paperwork and go through an audit with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for an award less than $7,000.

“They made a recommendation to organizations to try to not go below $7,000 in order to vendor this, because there’s a burden on their end as well,” said Palmer, adding that she didn’t want to say “no” to the opportunity.

Staff also noted that Community Resource Center has consistently received $5,000 for its holiday basket program through the Community Grant Program for the past four years, while the grant amount has varied for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.

Applications are currently being accepted for the city’s annual Community Grant Program, which provides funding to non-governmental, nonprofit groups serving Solana Beach and its residents.

The city has a total of $25,000 available for community organizations. Each organization can submit up to two applications. Grants will be awarded with a maximum award of $5,000.

The deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. Council will review all eligible applications in November.

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