Center for Transforming Lives to expand for impact with relocation

Center for Transforming Lives (CTL) broke ground last month at the site of its new headquarters in southeast Fort Worth. This project is momentous for the organization in many ways and embodies the drive for mission-impact that we have come to expect from CTL.

Each year, over 3,000 individuals and more than 1,000 families engage with CTL services. Last year, 98% of families remained housed after working through the program, 94% of children who attended the center’s programs were ready for school and 93% of children and adults reported reduced trauma symptoms.

Center for Transforming Lives focuses on poverty-disruption services with mothers with young children, fueled by the fact that one-third of Tarrant County’s single mothers with a child under the age of five are living in poverty. The Center’s programs are extensive, specifically trauma-informed and two-generational, incorporating research-based best practices for long-term success. Integrated services provided by Center for Transforming Lives include housing stability, early childhood education and clinical counseling. 

With nearly $2 million in annual maintenance costs, limited space for programs or the 165-member staff, as well as client transportation and access issues, CTL’s ability to expand its impact has been constrained by its current, 33k square-foot 1920’s era facility in downtown Fort Worth.

The new Riverside campus is the culmination of more than a decade of dedication and work and represents only the third major operating location for the organization in its more than 100+ year history in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

The new Riverside Campus located at 3001 S. Riverside Drive in Fort Worth will be constructed from a repurposed Montgomery Ward building on a 14-acre site at the intersection of South Riverside Drive and East Berry Street, near the Morningside and Glen Crest neighborhoods. The renovations have been developed with a two-generational, trauma-informed lens ensuring that the new headquarters will meet the emotional and functional needs of those it serves. The open land will also incorporate an urban park setting and is located next to a bus stop and a four-line bus transfer station for accessibility.

Riverside Campus is expected to be completed and open for service in November 2024 and precipitate some program changes, additions and closures. Carol Klocek, CEO of Center for Transforming Lives shared that, “it allows us to scale our impact in a way that hasn’t been possible with our current facilities.”

The new 65k square-foot facility will include:

  • Early Childhood Education Center
  • Economic Mobility Programming Area
  • Housing Connections Center
  • Counseling Center with play Therapy space
  • Offices
  • Donation and Distribution Center
  • Drop-in Childcare
  • Collaboration Partner Spaces

Carol shared excitement about the potential the new economic mobility center has for disrupting poverty for individuals and the wider community. In addition to coaching and support services, the small business development center will feature audio visual studios, a commercial kitchen, community space and makers spaces.

The free drop-in daycare center will support any client involved in CTL services and improve program participation as individuals are three-times more likely to stay in services and achieve goals with childcare support.

CTL is currently raising $38.5 million in funds from a mixture of sources to support this project including a New Market Tax Credit deal, ARPA funding from the City and County, a congressional allocation and private philanthropy. With nearly $30 million raised to date, CTL is well on its way to full project funding.

This project could be labeled a legacy project for CEO, Carol Klocek, as the first capital project and campaign under her 14-year tenure. But, Carol prefers to see this project as the manifestation of the actual legacy work of first understanding and clarifying the work of the organization and zeroing in on the two-generational approach to poverty disruption that they have implemented programmatically over her tenure.

source: interview, press release

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Barbara Clark Galupi