Concord Neighborhood Center serves 4,000 people annually
A cornerstone of the Near Southside for 139 years, Concord Neighborhood Center reaches across generations and cultures with programming that supports growth and independence throughout every stage of life.
With a dedicated executive director in Niki Lynn Girls, a strong staff and a team of committed volunteers, the center annually touches the lives of more than 4,000 people who take advantage of educational, recreational and enrichment opportunities.
Concord, 1310 S. Meridian St., assists individuals and families with food, clothing, shelter and health services while offering care coordination, employment counseling and services to help prevent homelessness.
The center’s licensed early childhood education center provides a curriculum designed to help 3- to 5-year-olds prepare for kindergarten, and a comprehensive school-aged youth programs offers before- and after-school programs and an intensive summer day camp.
Because Concord truly values the future of youths, its staff is committed to providing programs that enable children from all socioeconomic backgrounds to learn and grow together in a safe environment with caring adults. The after-school program provides academic enrichment, recreational instruction and healthy life skills. Partnerships with local universities and other nonprofits offer a specialized curriculum.
An open house to recognize the importance of after-school programs will be held from 3-6 p.m. Thursday. These initiatives keep children safe, help working families with child care and inspire innovative learning and youth development, said Girls. The event will feature rock-wall climbing, arts and crafts, table tennis and games.
A rummage sale from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday will be an effort by Concord’s youth participants to raise money to pay it forward; all proceeds will benefit worthy causes.
And seniors have not been left out of the mix. Adults 60 and older frequently gather to share interests and meet friends. Case management services are offered, as are warm meals daily and transportation to and from the facility and grocery stores as needed.
Also of importance to the center is the health and well-being of area residents. From health education and prevention programs to specialized outreach efforts, Concord strives to promote healthy lifestyles. On Fridays, IU Health’s Garden on the Go sets up a market and sells produce and vegetables.
A United Way of Central Indiana agency, the center is funded through private and public foundation grant support, government contracts and individual donors.
The center will celebrate its anniversary with a fundraiser from 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. The evening will feature dinner, music, a silent auction and a cash bar. Tickets are $50 and can be reserved by calling 637-4376 ext. 41.
“We pride ourselves on finding creative ways to stretch our dollars to the best of our ability,” said Girls. “We do a lot with a little, but we need more support in order to sustain the quality of activities and programs for those we serve.”
Should patrons develop an appetite while visiting the center, they can have lunch at the Dynki Deli, where bagels, sandwiches, soups, side dishes, desserts, chips and beverages are served.