Zimmer Steps Up for the Boys & Girls

Recently,  GA and her friend, the talking horse, have been airing the sad saga over at the Boys & Girls Club.

The needy children served by the Boys& Girls Club of Hudson County, most from the west side of Hoboken but some overflow from Jersey City, have been harshly affected by the sublease of their space, primarily to HoLa Charter School, but also Hoboken and Elysian Charters.

During the school year, the B&G Club provides after-school services for children who would otherwise have no where to go, be without adult supervision or be 'on the streets', from 3pm until 8 pm.  The HoLa day, as outlined in the HoLa Charter Application, was to use the Boys & Girl's Club facility from 8:15 am until 2:30 pm.  Somehow, HoLa's hours of occupation were expanded by adding an after-school program to coincide with B&G Club operations.



This was not addressed in HoLa's Charter Application.  HoLa was awarded their charter based on an agreement to occupy 123 Jefferson when the building was not being used by the B&G Club.

Yet the B&G Club gave away their space during hours it was supposed to be available to the B&G children.  And violated its lease agreement with the City.

The lease violation was reported by that intrepid horse on MSV on August 3:
The Lessee agrees to use the facilities for the sole purpose of conducting youth programs and the Lessee activities. It will not rent or lease the facility for commercial purposes without first obtaining City permission nor will any commercial activities be conducted at the facility.
Um, is anything about that not clear?

And here's what that horse had to say yesterday, regarding tonight's City Council agenda:
There's numerous funding items on the agenda, mostly regular business but among them, the Boys & Girls Club.  The organization providing support to Hoboken's neediest children has not provided a required annual report on services to the City in over a decade going back to the original agreement in 1994.    

Can you approve funding when the contractual agreement providing a building to the organization for a paltry $2 a year remains unsatisfied?
Good question, Horsey. Sometimes it takes a horse to get to the bottom of the haystack.

Well, it looks like this attention may be reaping some assistance to the Boys & Girls Club children who'd been shut out of their 2,000 sf gym space for all but 1 day per week (they used to have it everyday) because it was subleased to Charter Schools.

Enter Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

In yesterday's memo to the City Council she said this:
We are also entering into a shared service agreement with Hoboken Charter and Elysian Charter to allow them to use the gym in the Multi-Service Center, and we are providing funding for the Jubilee Center, United Cerebral Palsy, HOPES, Nuestros Ninos, Miles Square Funding, Day Care 100, Hoboken Family Planning, and the Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County.

Folks, this is big.

To the displaced children of the B&G Club.  Particularly the teens who were able to enjoy the gym facilities in the evenings, until 8pm.  I am told that the loss of this sports and recreational space  impacted teens particularly harshly. GA hopes Mayor Zimmer has restored use of this critical area for the B&G kids by executing a shared space agreement with the Multi-Service Center gym.

GA is thankful that our Mayor stands with the kids of the Boys & Girls Club who've been failed by so many.

This is a step in  the right direction.

Update2:50 pm-
GA may have uncorked the champagne bottle too soon. 

A reader has told me that Elysian and Hoboken Charter Schools use the B&G Club gym during the day. Which does not alleviate the after-school issue; apparently the HoLa after-school  program has sole use of the gym all days except 1.  Which will be unaffected by the Charter's move to the Multi-Center gym.

Unless there is a larger strategy in the offing or HoLa to  give back the gym during the day so the B&G Club can use it in the afternoon.

Can't both after-school programs share the space until an agreement is reached?


  1. Well, that sounds like a possible interim solution. But one wonders what, if any, programs at the Multi-Service Center might be bumped as a result? Or has that facility been underutilized?
    As for the lack of annual reporting, under the lease agreement, to whom at City Hall is that supposed to be directed by the B&GC? The legal department? HHS? Who at City Hall has been responsible for oversight since 1994?
    On the Club's side, in any 501(c)3, it would usually be the Board's legal responsibility to ensure necessary reporting, based on preparation from staff implementing the programs. Is it that no reports were filed with any of the agencies which required same, or just City Hall's copy?
    While it's likely that staff would understandably put time into direct service delivery versus bureaucratic paperwork, the latter is still part of keeping an agency afloat. Also helpful for other fund-raising opportunities/grant applications.
    Someone with an interest (& copious free time)could request the Club's Articles of Incorporation (regarding legal accountability for reporting), as well as Board minutes, to determine if this was ever addressed. As well, anything regarding any discussions/ agreements with HoLa around space-sharing.
    Being a B&GC Board member surely looks nice on a resume & as a business p.r. tool....


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