Local community Centers in Allentown, Buffalo

Local community Centers in Allentown, Buffalo

The Allentown, Buffalo neighborhood on the west side of Buffalo, New York is a vibrant and diverse community thanks in large part to its active local community centers. These centers act as hubs that bring residents together, provide vital resources and services, and cultivate a strong sense of community pride.

The Rev. Dr. Bennett W. Smith Family Life Center

One of the anchors of the Allentown community is the Rev. Dr. Bennett W. Smith Family Life Center located on Riley Street. Opened in 1998, the center’s mission is to “empower and equip families to build community through spirituality, education and development.” It offers year-round programming for all ages focused on academics, recreation, spiritual growth and family support.

The academic programs at the Bennett Center include afterschool mentoring and tutoring to help students succeed, as well as adult education classes in literacy, GED preparation, computer skills and more. Sports leagues, fitness classes, open gym times and an indoor playground give kids and adults alike opportunities to stay active. The center also has a community garden where residents can grow fresh produce.

For spiritual enrichment, the Bennett Center holds weekly worship services, Bible studies, youth ministry activities and spiritual counseling. Its family support services assist with basic needs like food, clothing, housing and employment assistance. The center truly aims to be a one-stop shop for holistic support of local families.

The Allentown Village Society

Another pillar of the Allentown community is the Allentown Village Society, an organization dedicated to community building and historic preservation of the neighborhood’s unique character. The Society runs the Allentown Community Center on Allen Street, which hosts community events, meetings, classes, youth programs and more.

One of the biggest annual events put on by the Allentown Village Society is the Allentown Art Festival, a massive two-day street festival celebrating the arts each June. The festival features over 400 artists and craftspeople selling their wares, along with food trucks, live music and free hands-on art activities for kids. It’s considered one of the top attractions that brings thousands of visitors to the neighborhood every summer.

Villa Maria College Community Center

The Villa Maria College Community Center on the campus of the local Catholic college also provides meeting and programming space that benefits Allentown residents. It hosts speakers, community forums, youth camps, education classes and more that are open to the public.

Hubs of Civic Engagement

These local community centers form the backbone of civic engagement and community building in the Allentown neighborhood. From faith-based support to arts promotion to family services, they each play a vital role in making Allentown a strong, tight-knit and vibrant community.

By hosting events, running programs and connecting residents, the community centers foster a sense of pride and social cohesion in Allentown. They provide safe spaces for people to learn, create, exercise, celebrate and come together across all ages, races, religions and backgrounds. Local leaders know that robust community centers are key to maintaining Allentown’s unique identity and making it a thriving place to live, work and visit.

Preserving Allentown's Legacy

As Buffalo’s oldest neighborhood, Allentown’s future success relies on thoughtful preservation of its storied past. The local community centers aim to nurture that legacy by strengthening the social fabric and uplifting the entire community, one program, one event, one interaction at a time.

In conclusion, local community centers play a vital role in the fabric of Allentown, Buffalo, providing essential services, fostering connections, and empowering residents to create positive change. From offering childcare and educational programs to hosting community events and supporting local businesses, these centers are the backbone of the neighborhood, enriching the lives of residents and strengthening the bonds that hold the community together. As we look to the future, it is clear that the continued support and investment in these centers are essential to ensuring the health, prosperity, and vibrancy of Allentown and its residents. Learn more about Points of interest around Allentown, Buffalo

Frequently Asked Questions

The centers offer a wide range of programming including academic tutoring, adult education, sports/fitness, arts/culture events, youth camps, community gatherings, spiritual services, and support for basic needs like food, clothing and housing.

While the centers primarily serve the Allentown community, many of their programs, events and services are open to the general public as well, particularly at the Villa Maria College Community Center.

Each center has a volunteer program and welcomes community members to get involved. You can inquire about current opportunities by contacting the centers directly.

The Allentown Art Festival is a massive two-day outdoor festival held each June that features over 400 artists and craftspeople selling their work, plus food, music, and hands-on art activities. It brings thousands of visitors to the neighborhood.

The centers operate through a mix of public and private funding sources, including government grants, private and corporate donations, fundraising events, program fees, and support from partner organizations.