In 1963, business leaders associated with the Jay Cee's concerned about the plight of inner-city children incorporate the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson. An abandoned fire house served as the first Boys Club in 1964. Within weeks of opening, staff stopped enrolling new members due to space limitations at the tiny clubhouse.
In 1967, after a $1,000,000 capital campaign, the Club moved to a new 38,000 square foot building on 21st Avenue, where it remains today. This facility features an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, games room, and class rooms situated on three floors.
Throughout the 1970’s the Club steadily grew its membership, serving more and more children in need of after-school programming. In 1988, the Club paid its mortgage and conducted a $500,000 renovation, making improvements that would accommodate girls.
The Club officially changed its name in 1991 to the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson, reflecting the coed programming that had been taking place for more than a decade.
A strategic plan, entitled 5,000 in Five, was announced in 1997. It called for an expansion of clubs into the schools and set a target of 5,000 members. By 2001, these goals were exceeded.
In 2003, the Club announced a new plan, one which offered four gifts to members; reading, technology, swimming, and the performing arts. It was at this time that the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson merged with the Boys & Girls Club of Passaic – one of the oldest Clubs in the nation.
Now, the Club, on average, serves 1,000 kids per day in both Paterson and Passaic. Our future focus includes increased participation by teenagers and additional services that address their needs, particularly as they relate to education and propensity for leaving high school prior to graduation.