TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A house built in 1915 is getting restored to become Titusville's newest Boys and Girls Club.
- Boys and Girls Club expected to open later this year
- Former prosecutor Jo Lynn Nelson hopes it becomes safe place for children
- LINK: History of the Carter Familiy Home
- More Brevard County headlines
It may not look like much now, but with a lot of TLC the house will be restored. Rumor has it, according to Jo Lynn Nelson, this was a German safe house before the Carter family moved in back in the 1940's.
"They were told by their parents this was a German safe house. I know there is a letter at the Brevard North History museum from a waitress who says they served a German spy," Nelson said.
Nelson is hoping this will be the home of a new Boys and Girls Club by the end of the year. She was former prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office Juvenile Division and says that if kids go into the juvenile system, chances are they never get out.
But with the right intervention they can become productive members of their community, she said.
Construction continues at the former Carter Family Home. It's expected to open as a Boys and Girls Club later this year. (Krystel Knowles/Spectrum News 13)
"We direct filed about 60 cases that year, which is about 40 kids. I hate to see a life wasted," she explained.
Prosecutor turned Titusville City Council member Nelson says the house will be a safe place for kids in the community and said she's seen first hand how a Boys and Girls Club can help at risk youth. She says Boys and Girls Clubs can reduced the number of juvenile cases in the neighborhood.
"They are seeing the numbers go down. When we started out, we had 4,700 cases a year," Nelson said. "When I left in 2015, they were down to like 1,600 cases a year. When you look at how much it costs to incarcerate a child, it costs about $60,000 for six months."
Nelson says some of the most famous people got their start at the Boys and Girls Club, like principal dancer Misty Copeland. She's hoping the next inspirational person could be from Titusville.
After the Carter family donated the house to North Brevard Charities, they told Nelson she could use the house for the new Boys and Girls club. The facility is expected to open later this year.