Behind the Scenes
Uniondale Neighborhood Center was founded in 1986 to build and operate a community center in Uniondale and has maintained its 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status since its IRS ruling in 1990.
The inspiration for the center was the belief of community residents that adverse consequences of youth, left to their own devices, could be short-circuited if every child, adolescent, and adult had opportunities to build relationships and learn from others. They concluded that a community center would provide activities – especially for our youth – and thereby serve as a welcome vehicle for that concept.
Today, although hindered by a lack of funding, the John J. Byrne Community Center | UNIONDALE is nevertheless modestly meeting some of the intergenerational and multicultural needs of the community.
Critical milestones bear evidence of the institution's progress towards its original goals:
Acquisition of two adjacent properties (1990 and 2003) - 1¼ acres.
It provides space for a youth project and other community activities.
They have expanded building space to make room for additional indoor activities - adding a wing in 2005, and a yurt in 2008.
It is providing space for the Uniondale Community Council Youth Project, for the administration of after-school programs.
They are improving the massive outdoor space available for a Summer Camp each year.
Provided STRONG Youth, Inc., a youth anti-gang, anti-violence program facilities for their programs.
Provided the Energetic Enterprise Youth Community facilities to educate young people in music genres.
Secured a community benefits agreement (CBA) of a potential $2 million, in addition to 5-acres of land for a community center and recreational sports fields.
Eliminated the corporation's long-term debt, incurred in 1990 to acquire initial property holdings.
Through consistent branding efforts and community outreach, gained the attention of, and recognition as an integral member of the community.
They have asserted their leadership among the ranks of organizations such as the chamber of commerce, civic, ecumenical, and governmental entities, within and beyond its immediate community borders.