The story of the Haitian American Community Association began when Bishop Clement Lucien Papillon founded the first Center on October 9, 1975 which was called at the time American Haitian Community Center. That name was changed later on when a group of Patriot created on November 23rd, 1976 the Haitian American United Fund of Evanston and managed by Gerard Bordes, President, Ernst Guerrier, Secretaire, Jean Claude Lafontant, Treasurer and Antonio Thomas, Coordinator.
The Center changed name again when in 1987 under the leadership of Mr. Catts Robert Pressoir, it became The Haitian American Community Association. That was really the time when the Center opened its door on the South Side of Chicago under the direction of the late Ketty Gourdet. Eventually due to unforseen circumstances, the Center was burned down and brought activities to a halt.
The Haitian American Community Association is a non-profit organization promoting the social-cultural affirmation of Haitian families and youth in the Chicagoland area. Haca mission is to provide culturally specific services, education, prevention and advocacy in order to restore self sufficiency and pride in underserved minority population in Rogers Pard, Wesridge, Uptown, Lakeview communities among others.
The Center focuses on Social Services for families, Youth delinquency prevention/education, Refugees assistance/education and Haitian cultural awareness for all.
Haitian Americans are estimated at 75,000 in the chicagoland area with about 49,000 living in Chicago. The Haitian American community association has been helping the Haitian immigrant make a successful transition since 1987. In 1990, the center located on the south side brought actiivities to a halt but was re-opened in 1993 on the northside with a main focus to serve new immigrant populations. In the first two months, services were extended to all Haitians due to the volume requests for service received.
The eleven member board of Directors was 90% Haitian, 10% Caucasian and 45% female. Agency staff and volunteers are first and second generation Haitians. The Center has a non discriminatory service policy and is opened to serve all regardless of race or gender.