The Richmond Neighborhood Center’s mission is to nurture a diverse urban community by developing and providing high quality youth, adult, and family programs that address critical community needs and foster respect for all people and our environment. We have been serving the Richmond District of San Francisco for over 35 years, working with more than 5,000 participants each year.
At our 9 public school sites, our programs include youth employment, multicultural clubs, academic support, case management, art, recreation and more. Additionally, we offer a wide variety of community programs including nightly wellness classes, food security programs, summer camps, an urban garden, neighborhood festivals, weekend art classes and more! With programming for people of all ages, The Richmond Neighborhood Center has become a trusted epicenter in the neighborhood.
Founded in 1980 as Richmond District residents rallied to save the former Lucinda Weeks School from demolition, the history of The Richmond Neighborhood Center is a testimony to the power of successful community activism. Built in the 1920s, the Spanish-style stucco buildings of our headquarters served as a maternity center and an orphanage. By the 1970s, the buildings had fallen into decay, and private developers planned to purchase the property to erect condominiums in its place.
Linda Fries, an artist who was raising two small children in the Richmond District at the time, was among the first to recognize the need for a community center. After learning about the plans for the new condo complex, she conducted a needs assessment of the neighborhood and discovered that there were more unmet needs for child care and other neighborhood services than any other district in the city. Residents banded together with Fries, established a non-profit organization, and secured a long-term lease from the property owner—the San Francisco Unified School District.
Since 1980, the Neighborhood Center has grown into a thriving, multi-purpose community center with programs serving all ages in the neighborhood. Our shared space flourishes with children hard at play at the Cross Cultural Family Center, jazz music piping through the Community Music Center, families seeking an after school program and lively crowds at our many events. The Richmond Neighborhood Center has truly become a second home for everyone in the community and we hope it will for you, too!