Sacred Heart Center
The Sacred Heart Center, located at the intersection of Perry and 14 th Streets in Southside Richmond, is a non-profit organization that provides a number of educational and social development programs in order to assist one of the poorest, most crime ridden areas in the state of Virginia. The Center works closely with neighborhood residents in an attempt to improve the condition of the southern area of Richmond. Volunteers at the Sacred Heart seek to provide a “source of hope and strength for children and families” by addressing the many social problems that the neighborhood and city in general are experiencing.
A Jesuit priest founded the Sacred Heart Center in 1990 out of what once was the Sacred Heart School building. The center began with a ten thousand dollar donation from the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. Although there was no specific plan for the building or for the organization, it grew quickly. A board of directors was assembled within the first few months, and neighborhood residents were employed to help refurbish the old building. Sacred Heart Center soon began receiving offers of collaboration in hopes of establishing high-quality day care for young children. By teaming up with the Junior League of Richmond, the Sacred Heart was able to open the Family Resource Program that has assisted more than 200 area families since 1992,.
The Sacred Heart Center has worked with many other religious and community organizations in addition to the Junior League, such as Bainbridge Community Ministry, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Church of the Epiphany, Richmond Habitat for Humanity, Trinity Episcopal School, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University. The Sacred Heart has a great deal of support from these organizations. With the support of these partners, Sacred Heart Center has been able to combine Christian values with real-world urban life skills in order to better educate the under-privileged families in the city.
On average the Sacred Heart Center services about 150 children and adults daily. The programs offered include Licensed Early Childhood Education (Preschool), Head Start (in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University), School-Age Childcare, Teen Program, Family Resource Program, and Recreational Program. The Sacred Heart does advertise these programs but relies on its reputation in the community as a recruiting mechanism. The Center relies heavily on volunteers to provide its services.
Sacred Heart Center
1400 Perry Street
Richmond , VA 23224
The Sacred Heart website
Profiled prepared by Cory Chubb