Children and community

The Harlem Children’s Zone has always been driven by the belief that the success of the children and the strength of a community go hand in hand.  Their needs are inseparable and must be addressed together in order to break the cycle of generational poverty and give their kids a real shot at the American dream. Aimed at providing comprehensive, critical support to children and families and reweaving the very fabric of community life, the HCZ Project began as a one-block pilot in the 1990s.

With bold ambition, careful planning, and a strong infrastructure, they set out to address not just some, but all of the issues children and families were facing within a finite geographic area: crumbling apartments, rampant drug use, failing schools, violent crime, and chronic health problems. Building on the success of this early initiative, they launched a 10-year strategic plan in 2000, systematically expanding the depth and breadth of its programming to encompass 24 blocks, then 60 blocks, and ultimately 97 blocks.  Today, the Children’s Zone serves over 13.700 youth and 13.200 adults.

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