Girl’s Best Friend: The Friendship Club relocates to Litton Hill
May 2, 2018
The Friendship Club has found a new place to call home.
The group, founded in 1995, is a year-round program that serves at-risk girls in sixth to 12th grade. The club holds nonprofit status and serves 85-100 girls from all areas of western Nevada County.
The Friendship Club leapt at the chance to re-locate to a larger space and the club was supported in their first-phase expansion by an anonymous gift.
For Executive Director Jennifer Singer, the relocation to the Litton building holds special significance.
Singer's father, Charlie Litton, and his family once called the building home.
Singer explained that the building – constructed in the early 1930s – was originally intended to serve as a community hospital. Plans for the medical center were scrapped and the building sat vacant until Singer's grandfather, Charles Litton Sr., purchased it to house his engineering firm.
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With time the top floor of the building was constructed as a residence, where the Littons celebrated holidays, welcomed guests, and threw parties.
While sitting at her desk in her new office, Singer said, "It's cool. I've been coming here since I was a child. This was actually my mom's real estate office, this very office. It's a cool old building."
The new location offers the club much more space to interact with and guide the participating girls.
A large outdoor space is being tended in anticipation of a vegetable garden, picnic areas and outdoor activity space.
"We're exploring ideas about how the space will be best used," said Singer. "We just thought it was an opportunity to revision the program and see where we can take this for the next chapter."
The club offers its participants everything from homework help to peer counseling. A meal coordinator plans and cooks healthy and nutritionally sound after-school meals for the girls, some of whom suffer food insecurity at home.
Though some of the girls are reluctant to change, Singer said they are enjoying the new location overall.
"Change is hard," she said. "Some of them are dealing with it better than others but for the most part they love it and I think they will come to love it more with more time here."
Singer is quick to point out that in the end, no matter where they are located, Friendship Club remains committed to the many girls whose lives have been impacted by the organization.
"We've told them we're here for them as long as they need us, if they want us to be in their lives."
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-477-4231.