BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Boys & Girls Village celebrated renovations to its Bridgeport facility, which serves at-risk youth, with a small ceremony Tuesday morning in the art-deco style building it calls home.
State Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz, whose agency works closely with Boys & Girls Village, attended the event along with its employees and supporters.
Dr. Steven M. Kant, the organization’s president and CEO, said his clients are already “thrilled” with the renovated space, which is filled with natural light.
The renovations have significantly upgraded Boys & Girls Village space in Bridgeport, making it more accessible to a crucial population of children and families in the city and beyond, the organization said.
While the organization is based in Milford, more than half of Boys & Girls Village clients live in Bridgeport. The city is also the primary site for the organization’s community-based services.
“Our Bridgeport campus is the site where we see the majority of our community work — our outreach, our in-home services as well as kids coming here to the site," Kant said. "We've seen a rapid expansion of these community services."
While many children and family visit the building to receive services, it also contains a workspace for professionals who provide in-home services.
Constructed as a light industrial facility in the art-deco style, the building once was home to the United Tool Co. Since the company moved out, it has housed several different businesses, including a movie theatre, Kant said.
Kant said he hopes to maintain the art-deco character of the building when the facility undergoes exterior renovations.
The halls of the organization are already lined with heartwarming artwork bearing messages of hope and encouragement from its clients.
“When things get hard, I never give up, “ says one message written in blue marker.
“I like helping others especially when they’re upset,” says another written in purple.
While this stage of renovations is complete as of two days ago, Kant said the rehab of the building is a “continuous” process.
“As Boys & Girls Village expands, we have to get more creative with the space,” he said.
For over 70 years, the organization has provided behavioral health services for family and youth. It is not affiliated with the Boys & Girls clubs, although the organizations have similar names.
The organization has a psychiatrist, social workers and trained professionals on staff.
For more information, visit its website here .
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