Hester Street conducted a community needs assessment to inform the programming of a comprehensive, community-specific inter generational space in a new Community Center for Grand Street Settlement. The 10,500 square foot Center at Essex Crossing is available to all community members and building residents, and now includes a cafeteria, multipurpose rooms, offices and an outdoor terrace. HST partnered with GSS to ensure the Center supports innovative youth development programs and addresses the geographic, social, and economic factors that affect the health and resiliency of the community’s youth.

Over six months we conducted a youth-focused needs assessment to understand demand for youth programming at the intergenerational community center. We analyzed demographic data, health and other local indicators and mapped neighborhood program and services assets. We also engaged local students, parents, educators and GSS site participants and staff – including through stakeholder interviews – to understand community needs and priorities. We then synthesized our findings in recommendations for the development and implementation of youth programs within the Essex Crossing Community Center that meet the needs and desires of the Lower East Side community.