Kindness and respect for all
Cultivating relationships and communication
Center as community
KHCC provides resources to empower Bronx residents from cradle to career to advance education and well-being for a vibrant community. We achieve this in an environment that fosters academic milestones, literacy, mental health support, nutrition, technology, and the arts.
All of our programs use a strengths-based approach that empowers people to lead independent, self-sufficient lives. Our comprehensive community programming provides individuals, from birth through adulthood, with services across five divisions:
Early Childhood Services: Our early childhood programs—including Early Head Start, Early Learn, Head Start, Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK), and Family Childcare Network—provide children, birth-5, with nurturing, educational environments where they can learn, grow, and thrive. We help parents of the children we serve develop skills to become effective caregivers and create nurturing home environments.
Youth Services: We provide a safe, welcoming environment during afterschool hours where young people can socialize, learn, and grow. Our programs include elementary and middle school afterschool, summer day camp, Teen Center for high school aged youth to develop leadership skills, College Directions focused on post-secondary education success, and a Respite program for young people, up to age 25, with special needs.
Adult and Family Services: We provide a range of services and supports to adults and families that help break generational cycles of abuse, neglect, and poverty. At the heart of this division is Changing Futures, an intervention for survivors of child sexual abuse and their non-offending family members, and Parenting Journey that helps struggling parents at risk of having their children placed in foster care learn self-care and parenting skills. Other offerings include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes and recreation.
Nutrition and Food Access Services: Participants in all programs receive nutrition education and opportunities to grow their own food in our thriving community garden. We offer a diverse array of programing such as internships, cook shops and chef battles, intergenerational gardening, and family cooking classes. To further support food access, we operate a seasonal food pantry and offer 30 garden plots for community members to grow their own vegetables.
KHCConnect: Our unique case management unit, KHCConnect screens all participants enrolled in our programs for unaddressed needs and provides assistance addressing those needs in the form of referrals, intensive case management, or educational opportunities/workshops. Since its establishment two years ago, KHCConnect has become a critical part of the work we do and has had a deep impact on the lives of the families we serve.
The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center was founded in 1974 by a group of passionate community organizers. The group was led by three neighborhood women: Mary McLoughlin, Patricia Burns, and Janet Athanasidy.
Upon hearing in 1972 that the 50th Precinct was moving out of its turn-of-the-century building on Kingsbridge Terrace, the three jumped at the opportunity to realize their vision for a community center.
The collective began writing a campaign to convince City Hall to give the building to the community. They would not be deterred, and through the support of then Assemblyman Oliver Koppel, Borough President Robert Abrams and other community leaders, the building was finally secured on December 27th, 1974. The facility needed considerable renovations. Countless hours were spent washing floors and cleaning debris after the facility was vandalized. The center finally opened its doors during the spring of 1975 with a Teen Program, a Head Start Program and a budget of $500,000 to continue renovating the facility. While work proceeded, new programs were offered in neighborhood parks, churches, and other locations. As the revitalized precinct building came together, the vision for the organization expanded: it would be modeled after the great New York settlement houses, providing educational and cultural activities for all community residents. A professional staff was hired and expanded as resources became available.
Today, KHCC offers programs and services for all ages and is an active member of United Neighborhood Houses of New York City and United Neighborhood Centers of America. From the adaptive reuse of our historic building to our responsive programs, the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center represents a crucial piece of the fabric of New York City.