Blessed Sacrament Youth Center
Blessed Sacrament Youth Center began in 1987 in response to the community’s expressed need for “a safe, healthy environment to counter the streets.” Mercy Boys’ and Girls’ Home provided a start-up grant for this neighborhood drop-in center. Volunteers and community members helped renovate the space and opened with a basketball hoop, a ping-pong table and 10 youth members.
BSYC has changed from a drop-in recreational center to a youth development program that strives to meet the needs of the neighborhood youth and to challenge them through guidance and opportunities. The primary goals are to provide safe, constructive activities for neighborhood youth to teach them the life skills necessary to rise above the common “street life” and become productive adults; give youth the support to remain in or return to school and help them in preparing for and finding employment. In October of 2007 BSYC relocated to the vacant Blessed Sacrament Church relying on individual donations and volunteer support our continued efforts are well under way of creating a bi level youth center for the 150 youth we serve weekly.
The mission of Blessed Sacrament Youth Center to create an environment where youth of all ages can work, play, and pray together to promote values and develop the maturity and skills needed to become responsible adults and leaders.
BSYC’s membership is African-American and Latino-American youth who face educational, social and economic challenges. Beneficiaries are children from the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods, ages 8 to 18 years old. These youth represent 10 high schools and 15 grammar schools inside and outside of the community.
There are over 15,000 youth in the Lawndale community. Providing activities that give youth safe, constructive activities, gives youth an alternative to some of the negative choices presented to them on the street. BSYC provides youth with the opportunities to become involved in safe, organized activities. The purpose