A resurgence of young families are moving here, discovering neighborhood grocery stores, drug stores and other amenities otherwise found only in nearby suburbs. New-home construction combined with established residential areas and the increasing popularity of Johnson Parkway, a commercial development rife with job opportunities, has put this neighborhood on the map.
Organized in 1968 by area residents, this drop-in center for young people began with only one program. Today, it boasts 16 programs, including its latest addition, the nearly one-year-old community development corporation.
Elaine Gohlstin, Harvard Community Commercial Development Association executive director, credits Councilwoman Nina Turner with ensuring the existence of the new CDC after the neighborhood’s previous one closed its doors.
The uniqueness of the center is the vast array of services provided. A team of social workers and counselors are on staff, assisting area residents with housing, healthcare, elder care and job-related concerns. After-school programs serve children from ages five through 17.
The program’s counselors go beyond the surface, a real plus to particpants. “When someone signs up for our painting program, for example, we help them with other things, too, like providing them with education to help them keep their homes,” says Gohlstin .