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.
Our growing educational and personal empowerment programming starts from birth through late adulthood. KHCC agency programs span three major areas and includes:
- Early Childhood Services â€“ Early Head Start, Head Start, Universal Pre-Kindergarden and the Family Child Care Network;
- Youth Services â€“ Teen Center, featuring our Tween Program for middle school youth; College Directions for high school participants; Summer Day Camp; After School; and Special Needs for developmentally disabled young people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, or a combination of disabilities (ages 5-21 years old); and
- Adult & Family Services â€“ ESOL/Civics, with English language training for adults; and wellness and recreation activities for seniors; and Changing Futures, which treats children and youth with traumatic symptoms, and works to prevent revictimization.
The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center was founded in 1974 by a group of passionate community organizers gathered around 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 group began a writing campaign to convince City Hall to give the building to the community, and they would not be deterred. 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 and days were spent by 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 and a Head Start Program and a budget of $500,000 to continue renovating the facility. While work proceeded, new programs were sometimes 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 setlement 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.