Sixteen years ago, three members of our community looked at the streets and saw that, from a child's eyes, there was little or no hope of a bright future growing up in this neighborhood. Jersey barriers were erected by the police to stem the flow of drugs into the neighborhood, creating a concrete maze of blocked-off streets and cop cars. Gangs ruled and roamed the streets in search of young recruits. It was clear that youth needed a safe place to go to every day where they could be accepted by all, and mentored by people who cared about their well-being and would give them total support.
A local parish hall, falling apart and unused, was renovated and named the McGivney Community Center. From the moment we opened our doors, our focus has been to provide educational after-school, evening, weekend and summer programs to youth between the ages of 6 and 22. Our growing numbers speak volumes about our success-from just 50 that first year, we've grown to serve over 300 youth today.