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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History


The GREATER CLEVELAND NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS ASSN. (GCNCA), organized in 1963, coordinates neighborhood centers throughout the city, centralizing the planning and budgeting of over 20 agencies with shared goals but different programs. A pioneer in such consolidation, in 1995 GCNCA was the country's largest neighborhood center organization. It had initially developed from the Neighborhood Settlement Assn., organized in 1948 by HIRAM HOUSE, FRIENDLY INN SOCIAL SETTLEMENT, and UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT.

In the 1960s the GCNCA drew in unaffiliated SETTLEMENT HOUSES, which ultimately became multiservice neighborhood centers. Funded by the United Appeal, the Welfare Fed., and the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION, GCNCA became a clearinghouse for federal funds destined for job training, housing, neighborhood redevelopment, daycare, and other social services. GCNCA experimented with daycare for the elderly, 24-hour care for children of shift workers, and teen drop-in centers, among other creative programs. Long-term innovations included LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF CLEVELAND services, increased access to Meals on Wheels, and the Sunbeam School. Founding members of the GCNCA included, in addition to the 3 Neighborhood Settlement founders, ALTA HOUSE, the Chagrin Falls Park Community Ctr., the Collinwood Community Services Ctr., EAST END NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE, Garden Valley Neighborhood House, GLENVILLE Neighborhood Community Ctrs., Goodrich House (See GOODRICH-GANNETT NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER), Harvard Community Services Ctr., League Park Ctr., Lexington Square Community Ctr., MERRICK HOUSE SOCIAL SETTLEMENT, Mt. Pleasant Community Ctrs., the PHILLIS WHEATLEY ASSOCIATION, RAINEY INSTITUTE, and WEST SIDE COMMUNITY HOUSE. Associate members included the CLEVELAND MUSIC SCHOOL SETTLEMENT. In 1992 the GCNCA established the Family and Neighborhood Leadership Development Initiative to provide increased family access to the centers. In 1995, with a staff of 33 and a budget of $3.3 million, Rolland F. Smith served as executive director; 21 centers retained membership in the GCNCA.

Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Assn. Records, WRHS.

NCA 25th Anniversary Memories (1988).

Bond, Robert. Focus on Neighborhoods. (1990).

Last Modified: 21 Nov 2009 01:30:23 PM

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