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We Believe in Kids!

Directions for Youth & Families expresses deepest appreciation to donors to the We Believe in Kids! capital campaign to renovate the Ohio Avenue Youth Center at 657 South Ohio Avenue.



Other Major Donors:

Directions for Youth & Families Board of Directors   
Huntington National Bank   
The Jeffrey Company     
Siemer Family Foundation

Phyllis Bailey
Robert and Nancy Jeffrey                                         
Harry C. Moores Foundation           

Ingram/White Castle Foundation     
NiSource/Columbia Gas 
Ohio Children's Foundation            
Osteopathic Heritage Foundation     

Big Lots!
Cramer & Associates               
Crane Group     
Davis Wince Ltd Architecture     
Directions for Youth & Families staff
Endo Pharmaceuticals     
Jones Day
U.S. Bank                                    
Robert Weiler Company


Life in Our Neighborhood
By: Dominique A., age 15

For the young people that live in my neighborhood, we all know that life is not so good because of the gang violence, neighborhood crimes, and shoot outs that happen almost every night.

For me as a young person, sometimes I experience these things in the evening when I get home from the Ohio Ave. Youth Center or almost every night before I go to sleep.  If the community tried to come together to stop the gang violence, neighborhood crimes, and the shootouts, just maybe it would be a better neighborhood and a safer place for young people like us to live.

The Ohio Ave. Youth Center is a safe place to go.  I go to the center every day to get help on homework and other things I might need help on, like life and leadership skills. The Ohio Avenue center, in our neighborhood, has a good staff that helps young people with homework and assists kids with improving their attitude. They really helped me with my own respect level. They also have music, extra mile (homework and tutor program), computer lab, art, and recreation.

For me the center is a place for me to come and see my friends. We can have fun here. If the neighborhood didn't have the youth center I would get in trouble a lot and my grades would not be as good as they are now. It's a place that everyone in this neighborhood could benefit from.

Dominique wrote this article for the Livingston Park Neighborhood Improvement Association newsletter at their request for youth articles. Dominique has participated in activities at our Ohio Avenue Youth Center for three years, almost from the time the center opened.


Parents' quotes:

“The Ohio Avenue Youth Center is like an oasis in the neighborhood”
“There is so much to do here”
“My kids were hesitant to come here, now I can't keep them away”
“This place has been a blessing to me and my family”
“I like that you guys run a tight ship”


Some youth quotes:

The art room helps me make my ideas into things.
Homework help by the staff doesn't just tell me the answers. I have to work through the steps.
Playing games in the gym is my favorite thing to do.
I like typing school papers in the computer lab.
I am learning how to help my peers.

 Renovations and upgrades to the Ohio Avenue Youth Center to meet programmatic needs and other requirements included:


  • Creating a dance area where kids can learn to express themselves through movement
  • Renovating a fitness area for youth to establish healthy exercise patterns
  • Enhancing the multi-purpose room with a sound system for the performing arts
  • Building a room for creative arts
  • Expanding the computer lab
  • Building soundproof rooms for drum and music lessons
  • Adding group rooms for teaching leadership skills
  • Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility provisions
  • Replacing antiquated, energy-inefficient HVAC system
  • Upgrading electrical systems to accommodate current demands
  • Bringing restrooms up to standard
  • Adding a fire sprinkler system

Thank you, Community!
Young people and families who participate in Ohio Avenue Youth Center activities express deep appreciation to the Directions for Youth & Families' Board of Directors and to the Capital Campaign Leadership Team and Steering Committee who have led the effort to make the center an even greater place to be! Thank you to all who have contributed!


This site was created in partnership with People To My Site