For the people of Highbridge, bringing about a better life means breaking the cycle of poverty and building assets for community change. Highbridge Community Life Center is the way.
Its mission is to empower the people of Highbridge through a rainbow of services that include: counseling for families and children, adult basic education, job training, after school activities for youth, community improvement, organizing and many other services through a vast network of collaborative organizations spread across the Bronx.
Highbridge, the organization is about connections, resources, empowerment, and community – all the ingredients necessary to break the cycle, build assets and bridge the way to a better life for our families.
The Highbridge Community Life Center campus consists of eight sites, seven within walking distance of each other in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. The eighth site sits on a pretty hill in Orange County, New York, a sixty-mile drive from Highbridge.
Highbridge, the neighborhood, is part of the poorest Congressional District in the country – a distressed yet resilient neighborhood that struggles daily with deteriorating housing, domestic abuse, double digit illiteracy rates, the poorest performing schools, and a death rate from AIDS, cancer, violence, and heart disease that make it the least healthy community in New York City.
Highbridge is synonymous with intergenerational poverty handed down from one generation to the next. Many of the issues faced by Highbridge today can be traced back to turbulent times in the late 1970’s, with the migration of long-time residents out of the community and the subsequent influx of new, poorer groups.
By 1979, Highbridge was the victim of disinvestments by the city in police and fire service. This led to the deterioration of safety, security, and stability in the community. Neighbors were hard to find. Then two courageous women — Ann Lovett and Mary Moynihan, members of a Catholic religious order called Sisters of St. Dominic — took action and started a small, community-based organization in November 1979.
Their goal: to strengthen the community by offering services that would enrich and improve the lives of its residents. Today, their mission is carried on by the Highbridge Community Life Center.