On Thursday, November 7, Commissioner Ovesey joined non-profit community services and shelter provider, Bronxworks, for the naming ceremony of its main Community Center, soon to undergo another major renovation. Re-named the Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center in honor of Bronxworks' leader of 34 years, the facility dates back to 1926 and was the first building acquired by the organization.
Over the course of the last two decades, Bronxworks has made significant capital improvements to the facility, restoring its front steps and façade, constructing an Early Childhood Learning Center, adding a play roof, and constructing and upgrading bathrooms and office space. Today, as one of 30 offices and program sites operated by Bronxworks in the Bronx, the Center also houses after-school and summer camp programs, programs for all ages, including teens and senior citizens, and swimming and other physical fitness activities. The facility also is home to Bronxworks' Homebase preventive services program for New Yorkers at risk of becoming homeless.
The ceremony aimed to re-dedicate the Center as an icon of public service in the heart of the South Bronx, named in honor of Bronxworks former Executive Director, Carolyn McLaughlin. Assuming that role in 1979, Ms. McLaughlin has led the progression of Bronxworks from a small organization based primarily in one neighborhood, to the expansive network of services it is today.
"Bronxworks has been an invaluable partner of DHS for many years, serving New Yorkers through street outreach, homelessness prevention, and shelter programs, among other forms of assistance," said Commissioner Ovesey. "I'm proud to join Bronxworks and honor Carolyn McLaughlin, who is a pioneer in fighting homelessness within the community. We can't think of a better way for Bronxworks to continue her work and her legacy than to name this outstanding community center in her honor."
Founded in 1972, Bronxworks has grown to include an array of homeless assistance programs that are specifically tailored for diverse populations of clients. Serving a total of 276 homeless families at three different shelters, Bronxworks works with each household to address barriers to housing and to promote self-sufficiency. Bronxworks also operates a drop-in center and safe haven program, and has reduced street homelessness in the Bronx by 72 percent since 2005.
To learn more about Bronxworks, visit: http://bronxworks.nonprofitsoapbox.com/index.php