The history and mission of the Central Family Life Center (CFLC); was established in 1991 in order to economically and socially improve the lives and environment of people in the community. The Center was developed and spearheaded by the First Central Baptist Church, which was established in 1979. The church has a membership of more than 1,000 and has been a vital force for social, economic and educational community empowerment. The mission was implemented through its programs, which include a summer day camp, tutoring, senior citizens program, AIDS and drug abuse prevention education, community health fairs and family conferences. The church realized the limitations of its space and resources relative to the dire needs in the community. Out of this came the idea of creating a center based on the settlement house model. Over a period of twelve months, ministers, carpenters, skilled and unskilled electricians, plumbers and laborers gathered nightly from 5PM until 12AM. Volunteering their time, energy and talents in order to convert an abandoned supermarket into a 10,000 square foot facility; which now boast a gym/auditorium, three classrooms and three offices; all a part of the largest safest minority-owned CBO facility on the island.
CFLC is unique in that it is the only minority organization on Staten Island, which maintains expansive facilities for programming. This places us in a central relationship with other organizations that serve the elderly and do not have facilities or need to hold meetings/trainings at the center, i.e.,the New York Urban League, The NAACP (whose SI branch office is located at the center), Visiting Nurse Agency for Senior Citizens and St. Vincent’s hospital are among our other collaborative referral linkages. CFLC doors are open five nights a week for social service collaborations, as well as SI Neighborhood Based Alliance (NBA), which is a local consortium with five communities that work to improve the quality of life for local residents.
The CFLC currently has a Senior Citizens program, an After School Tutoring program as well as various events sponsored by other organizations.