The Heights Foundation, Inc., the project owner, works to break the cycle of poverty in the Harlem Heights neighborhood with a mission to promote family and community development, support education and wellness, and provide the benefits of the cultural and expressive arts. The foundation is a grassroots, hands-on organization that celebrates the strength and diversity of the community.
The Harlem Heights Cultural Arts & Community Center is a 14,000 sf facility designed to offer a variety of programs for children and adults –The Heights Foundation’s goals revolve around family development, economic self-sufficiency, learning and enrichment opportunities, wellness and personal growth, and access to expressive and cultural art programs. The center will also be the home of the Senior Friendship Centers lunch program which offers a daily hot lunch to local senior citizens. The Fort Myers’ Harlem Heights community is a severely distressed area where the average household income is less than $29,000 per year; 36% of Harlem Heights families live in poverty, which is double the rest of Lee County.
CBO Financial secured $5 M in New Markets Tax Credits to complete the Harlem Heights Cultural Arts & Community Center, which had sat partially completed for three years before the tax credit subsidy provided the funding needed to complete the facility.