Syracuse Community Center

In the winter of 2008 St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church adopted a strategic planning approach to community outreach. That spring they conducted a door-to-door survey of 223 homes, to determined the perceived needs of people in the greater

Syracuse Indiana area. The survey demonstrated that many people, both parents and non-parents, believe that youth needed something to do during their free time.

In the fall of 2008 a second survey was conducted, involving 264 students at Wawasee High School. The survey indicated that youth need a place to “hang out”, where they can enjoy unstructured activity, including relaxation and games. The survey also showed us that many youth are struggling with school, and need one-on-one tutoring, to help them meet their academic requirements.

In addition, our research indicates that youth are negatively impacted by broken families and a lack of positive role models. Likewise, most teenagers do not have a spiritual foundation, upon which to make constructive choices in their lives.

In order to address these needs, St. Andrew’s funded the formation of a public charity in September of 2009, called Syracuse Community Youth Initiative, Inc. The Syracuse Community Youth Initiative became a collaborative effort, drawing resources from other not-for-profits, churches, service clubs, private individuals, foundations, and government funds. We began meeting in the Syracuse Community Center every thursday, from 3:30 – 7 p.m.

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