A Community Center
Learn to appreciate a Community Center
Most of us at some point in time, have heard about Community Centers and some of us have benefited from programs developed by these Centers. Community Centers have a reason to be and have played a significant part in the life of many.
The history of community centers usually begins with the efforts of volunteers which consent to work freely to make a difference in the lives of others. When the Haitian American Community Association opened its door in 1979, it was for a purpose. It was to help Haitians with their immigration papers, for translation of documents, for directions, anyway to give guidance to those who at the time was fleeing their own government to come to the land of the free, the land of opportunity which is the United States of America.
As many years have gone by, the Center has redefined its services by providing free adult education classes and recreational activities for seniors as well as after school programs for teens. The Center provides counseling services, HIV education programs as we are becoming a condom distribution center in addition of offering many more services. Anyone is welcome to stop by simply to say Hi or simply to have a cup of coffee or a cup of tea with us. If you are home and you want to talk, how about come and have fun with us while you are watching a good movie.
Most people don’t know the many services a Community Center may have to offer unless you inquire. A Center may be defined as a building which:
1. - Serves a community organized in an association which is responsible for the management of the building.
2. - Provides facilities for the development of the recreational, cultural and personal welfare of members of that community.
3. - Furthermore but not least, will constitutes a meeting place for voluntary organizations or other groups in the community which need accommodation.
A Community Center may be defined as a voluntary association of neighbors democratically organized within a geographical area which constitutes a natural community, who have come together either as members of existing organizations or as individuals, or in both capacities, to provide for themselves and their community the services which the neighborhood requires.
Organizing programs is a major determinant of the success of a community center. This included having a large hall suitable for meetings, social events and theatre, and, if possible, a common room, canteen, games facilities and a number of small meeting rooms. Alongside the nature of the leadership is also identified as a very significant factor in the success of a center. The organization of the Community Association and of a Community Center is a skilled and difficult job needing men and women who not only have natural gifts but considerable experience, training and most importantly GOOD WILL.
A community center should be regarded as an essential amenity of normal community living in normal circumstances.
A community center may offer basic adult education activities and various developmental opportunities for many. To do that, we need volunteers, we need people and more importantly, we need money.
A community center cannot offer programs that they cannot afford. No organization can expect to give what they don’t have. Programs are done with money and money is received thru grants or thru individual donations.