Running Rebels Community Organization’s youth basketball teams have never competed in their own gym – until now. For the first time in 35 years, this nonprofit will have its own gym, plus plenty of space to expand services to some of Milwaukee’s highest-risk youth.
The recently renovated, 48,000-square-foot facility will comfortably host the more than 1,500 youth who benefit from Running Rebels’ services, which provide positive alternatives for youth facing a scarcity of after-school programming. Running Rebels’ services include tutoring, community service projects, and violence prevention programs, including sports.
“When we first saw this building, we knew it was meant for us. But our expertise is in helping the youth and families of our community, not acquiring properties. We could not have accomplished this without the assistance of IFF,” said Dawn Barnett, Co-Executive Director of Running Rebels Community Organization.
“IFF helped us every step of the way and made sure that we were surrounded by people who had the experience and expertise needed to make this dream a reality,” Barnett continued. “They have much more lending flexibility than traditional banks and have a passion for helping nonprofits achieve their missions.”
Running Rebels has eight basketball teams ranging from third grade through high school. The comprehensive mentoring and basketball program encourages players to pursue post-secondary education through exposure to scholarship opportunities from national colleges and universities, as well as academic support, such as tutoring and homework assistance, college entrance exam preparation, and assistance with federal student aid applications.
IFF provided real estate services and financing to help Running Rebels locate and acquire its new facility. Its existing space, which was purchased and renovated in 2012 through financing from IFF, will remain open and continue providing critical services to the city’s near north side.
Trans Center-NOVA Tech, a Milwaukee Public Schools high-achieving charter high school that provides pathways for students interested in STEM and technical fields, will rent a portion of the building. And right across the street is Outreach Community Health Centers – a federally qualified health center providing health care, housing, and supportive services to community. Both are past customers of IFF.