To fulfill the mission of CUP, the purpose of the Griffin Center is to work with children from intergenerational poverty who reside in East St. Louis public housing to realize their God-given potential and develop into happy, healthy, productive citizens. Thus, they are breaking the cycle of generational poverty.
The Griffin Center’s programs include after school social, recreational, and educational support for school aged children; summer day camps and recreational/cultural/fun summer outings; violence prevention training, using the Second Step method; advocacy for individual children and families in the school systems, Public Aid system, and specialized housing, social, and health systems; and systemic improvements in these systems vis-a-vis the clientele served by Griffin Center.
Four centers serving children from six housing developments are included within the department’s programs. All four centers are located within housing project community buildings operated by the East St. Louis Housing Authority and leased for $1 per year in exchange for free programming for the residents.
DeSheilds - 1235 McCasland Ave., E. St. Louis, IL 62201
Roosevelt - 1328 North 44th, E. St. Louis, IL 62204
Weathers/Owens - 1400 Broadway Building 12, E. St. Louis, IL 62201
Griffin Center - 2630 Lincoln Ave., E. St. Louis, IL 62204
The goal of all Griffin Center programs is to help children develop social skills, self-confidence, and sensitivity to others, which will help them move into the larger world with dignity and confidence. The Griffin Center also aims to help these same children achieve academically in order for them to compete in high school and college (or at some other specialized training). Thus, becoming happy, healthy, productive citizens and breaking the cycle of generational poverty.