Huntington Family Centers, Inc. is a neighborhood-based, multi-service agency responding to a wide range of social and neighborhood problems, serving residents throughout the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County.
Huntington works with young children, youth, teens, adults, and seniors who are most vulnerable to social and economic adversity. The agency provides services to people faced with problems caused by inadequate education, unemployment, sub-standard housing, developmental disabilities, and discrimination based on race, gender, handicap, or socio-economic status. Through a wide range of programs, Huntington strives to reduce economic, social, and political inequity by building neighborhood pride and a sense of self-esteem for those who live in or near the Westside.
Huntington Family Centers, Inc. has a rich history of services to Syracuse. Founded in May of 1919, the agency was known as "Huntington Club" and its mission was to assist a growing number of young women who moved to the city during World War I to do factory work while their husbands and family members served in the war. Huntington Club provided shelter and support services to these women, located in the Snow House at 476 South Warren Street. In 1922, the agency moved to 254 East Onondaga and opened the Sunflower Restaurant as a means of making Huntington Club self-supporting. In 1939, the restaurant closed and the space was used for club activities.
In the early 1940s, with the support of the Community Chest (now the United Way), Huntington turned its attention to creating a supportive climate for the community and its families. The agency moved to the east side of Syracuse and offered group work and leisure time activities to family members. In 1957, the agency adopted the name Huntington Family Centers and began operating Settlement House programs.
In February 1964, Huntington moved to its present location at 405 Gifford Street with a staff of eight and a budget of $115,000.
In the Settlement House tradition, Huntington helps each individual to develop and grow to their fullest potential. The agency accomplishes this by providing youth, family and adult development programs that are tailored to the unique needs of each consumer. The agency serves individuals through six areas of programming. These programs work with newborn babies to seniors with the singular focus of assisting people in solving problems related to poverty, inadequate education, unemployment and sub-standard housing, mental health concerns, and child abuse and maltreatment. The agency is an entry point for some of the most vulnerable members of the community to receive needed services. Huntington's Settlement House roots enable and encourage agency staff to provide more assistance to consumers than simply meeting immediate needs. Staff work with consumers to determine root causes of a particular situation and provide a multi-systemic response which provides support and assistance for both immediate and long term needs.
Huntington Family Centers works closely with a wide range of human service organizations in the neighborhood and broader community. The agency recognizes that many neighborhood problems are most appropriately addressed through indigenous programs and services that identify the strengths of each person, while supporting them in achieving their highest degree of independence.