Game Changer: Hopeville Boys Center

hopeville boys
Kay Brumbelow:::

Five years ago, Clyde Forbes moved to Georgia with hopes of beginning graduate studies at Emory University. Upon moving to Griffin, however, he noticed that the teens in our community had nowhere to go and nothing to do with their time, other than attending school. He realized that this was a key reason why many teens ended up in trouble on the streets. Feeling their plight, Clyde and his wife started the Hopeville Boys Center, a safe haven for these at risk teens.

“Someone needed to be an advocate and a voice for these kids,” states Forbes. “Our community had no mentoring program, and no organized activities for kids other than recreational athletics, which most could not afford to participate in.”

The Hopeville Boys Center meets twice a month at Griffin City Park and allows the boys time for fellowship with each other as they play basketball for the first hour. After the game, different speakers discuss issues relevant to the teens, such as the importance of education, dating issues, and the dangers of drugs and gang affiliation. The group has grown to include over 50 boys at the bi-monthly meetings. However, with growth come many new challenges.

Hopeville Boys Center has been mostly self-funded by Forbes with the exception of grants received by Spalding Collaborative. With so many boys wanting to participate and rising costs of fuel, funding is scarce. “We strive to get the boys out of their normal home environment as often as possible to expose them to other ways of life and new possibilities,” adds Forbes.

Unfortunately, these experiences cost money that the Center just does not have. “Our community must come to understand that we will eventually end of spending money on at risk teens—either by paying for the costs of the boys being “in the system” or by being proactive and spending money to help change their mindset and stop the cycle of poverty,” states Forbes.

Forbes has hopes of opening a physical location for the Center to allow these boys a safe place to go after school and on weekends, where mentors will be available for tutoring and guidance. Forbes adds, “We are actively working to make a home base a reality, but we can’t do it without help from the community.”

The Center’s needs are simple: financial assistance, partnerships with area businesses and churches, and male mentors and volunteers to teach life skills of any and all kinds to the boys.

“Right now, we just want to get the word out to the community that the Hopeville Boys Center exists and needs help to make a difference in the lives of these children,” states Forbes.

To donate your time, money or resources, please contact Clyde Forbes at 404-537-5711 or on Facebook at “Hopeville Boys Center.”

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