SENECA STREET COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

aka SSCDC   |   Buffalo, NY   |  https://www.senecastreetcdc.org

Mission

“The Seneca Street Community Development Corporation (SSCDC) partners with our neighbors in the Seneca Babcock community to provide a supportive environment to overcome educational, social and economic barriers. We provide opportunities for the entire community to acquire skills that build resiliency and self-reliance, enhancing the quality of life and potential for current and future generations in neighborhood."

Ruling year info

2009

Executive Director

Ms. Cheryl Bird

Main address

1218 Seneca St

Buffalo, NY 14210 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-3678723

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Neighborhood Center, Settlement House (P28)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Seneca-Babcock Community in Buffalo, located just about 3 miles from the city's heart, is one of the most impoverished in the entire metropolitan area. Single-parent homes are often left to the children to manage since the parent is working two or three jobs to make ends meet. Opportunities for advancement, growth, jobs, and even providing healthy meals is incredibly difficult to overcome. The area is what's known as a "food desert." There are very few food options within walking distance and those that are within the local area have no fresh vegetables, fruit, breads, and dairy products that the kids of this neighborhood so desperately need. Educational opportunities, healthcare, and childcare are all scarce and provide even greater obstacles for the residents to break the generations-long cycle of poverty and low standards of living. The children of this community need solid framework, role models, healthy meals, tutoring, and financial assistance if they are to succeed.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

After School Program

Right off the school bus, our students walk into a safe and welcoming environment at Afterschool @ Seneca Street. Our K-8 grade and high school students arrive from 3:00-3:35. They come in to the CDC, grab a snack, and sit down to chat with our volunteer mentors and cool down from the long school day.

3:40-5:00: Students transition to homework time with encouragement from our volunteer tutors. High school students head upstairs to our Teen Program.

5:00-5:35: Once homework’s done, then it’s off to enrichment time! Whether it’s Yoga, Girls on the Run, Cooking Club, Computer Lab, Sewing Club, Engineering for Kids, Environmental Club, or Field Trips, enrichment time gives students in our program the opportunity to expand their horizons and learn healthy habits, taking part in activities they may not otherwise have access to.

5:40-6:00: Before leaving, students gather in the dining room for a free, healthy, home-made dinner, which is cooked and served by our dedicated volunteers.

Afterschool @ Seneca Street runs Monday–Thursday, 3:00–6:00pm, September through June. All programs at the CDC are free.

Population(s) Served

Our Kids in Motion Programming gives students opportunities to be active through GoGirl!Go, Girls on the Run and Boys on the Move. We also allow free play on the playground and in the gym.

Population(s) Served

Girls on the Run is a character building program for 3rd through 5th grade girls. It teaches them about positive self image, coping mechanisms, teamwork and goal setting. All of the lessons incorporate running and the curriculum culminates with a 5k fun run.

Population(s) Served

The Seneca Street Teen Program is both an after school program and outreach mission. Teens receive homework assistance and dinner Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays they destress together as the only group in the building. During the summer, teens have the option to take part in the Mayor Summer Youth Program where they work at Summer @ Seneca Street, acting as leaders for the younger kids. As part of this program, they also take part in a Job Readiness program.

Fundraisers
The teens fundraise to go on trips and outings. In the past, our teens have baked goods for the Clarence Apple Fest, hosted Spaghetti dinners, and transformed the church into a Halloween haunted house for kids in the neighborhood.

Population(s) Served

Our third program is Summer at Seneca Street. Once the school year ends our fun and educational summer program begins! During July and August, when school is out, we offer six weeks of programming. Four of those six weeks typically consist of several enriching activities that might include crafts, guest speakers, cooking, etc. all revolving around the theme of the week.

On the Thursday of each week, children are taken on a field trip that is tied to the theme of the week. The other two weeks during the summer consist of our annual Reading Camp. During the Reading Camp students rotate though various academic stations including a reading and writing stations, taught by certified teachers. Students also do other activities such as cooking, arts and crafts, science, etc. After completing the two week long Reading Camp, the students earn a backpack filled with the following year’s school supplies. All of our programming offered at Seneca Street CDC is FREE of charge.”

Population(s) Served

Beginning on March 7, 2016, five students from the Seneca Street CDC After School/Team Programs enrolled in a Recyle-A-Bike Program partnered with GoBike Buffalo.

For twice a week for six weeks, the students learned how to deconstruct and rebuild a bike. This provided them with the skills to fix their own bike if they should ever need repairs.

At the end of the program, the students kept their bikes and received a bike lock, helmet and bike lights.

The lessons they received coordinated with Common Core Curriculum, connecting their schoolwork to practical skills.

The Recycle-A-Bike program was held again in the Summer @ Seneca in 2016 with a new set of excited and eager students.

If you are interested in assisting with this program, please consider donating to cover our program fees.

Population(s) Served

The Seneca Street Community Garden is located just a few houses down from the CDC. Each year the children plant and grow vegetables through After School and Summer @ Seneca Street programming. Not only does the garden bring beauty to the area, but shows the children where food comes from. Other community members take care of their own their own plots and grow vegetables of their choosing.

What makes the Seneca Street Garden special than any other is that there are no costs involved. There is no fee for reserving a plot, seedlings and soil are provided, and we have knowledgeable Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension for advice and guidance on maintaining a successful garden.

We are gearing up for a great growing season in the Seneca Babcock Community Garden! This year, with the help of Grassroots Gardens and Independent Health, we were able to rebuild all 13 raised garden beds, replacing the cinder blocks with cedar boards. The leftover cinder blocks will be used to create art projects in the children’s garden and build a composting system.

This year, we are partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners who will be using two plots to test plants in an urban environment. These experts will be available to answer questions and provide guidance to other gardeners.

The Seneca Babcock Community Garden was one of four gardens in Buffalo to be selected for a special project through the Just Buffalo Literary Center, Read/Seed/Write campaign. Throughout the summer, a resident writer will work with students in the children’s garden on writing and art projects in the garden space. There will also be projects in the memorial garden, a bed of perennial flowers for community members to remember loved ones who have passed on too soon.

The remaining plots have all been reserved by community members. There is no charge to reserve a plot in the garden and Seneca Street CDC provides seedlings and the tools needed to maintain the space. Gardeners have the responsibility of taking care of their plot and signing up to water plants. Taking care of a plot means that residents of the Seneca Babcock community are able to produce their own fresh, healthy food, a rare opportunity in this food desert that has only a corner store selling processed foods.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of youth receiving services (e.g., groups, skills and job training, etc.) with youths living in their community

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of youth who identify, manage, and appropriately express emotions and behaviors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of youth who consider the implications of their actions on others, their community, and the environment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Seneca Street Community Garden

Number of youth who model positive behaviors for peers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed/maintained healthy eating habits

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed a strong sense of self

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of youth who demonstrate that their school attendance has improved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

After School Program

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The SSCDC is working to address the educational, nutritional, and social/emotional learning gaps often faced by low income families. The children that come from these very poor and sheltered homes need an environment that makes them feel loved and lets them know they can become something in life. We teach them basic life skills that may someday spark an interest in a business or hobby. We provide mentors who help them understand the difficulties of life but show the important lessons of not quitting, graduating high school, keep college as a goal and do everything to make that happen. But most importantly, we try our best, each and every day, to improve the quality of life of those in our community. The kids always have smiles. There is always food on the table. And there is always a reliable and committed grown-up there to help when times get rough.

Our main focus for achieving our goals is to provide a safe and structured environment where the children are exposed to positive elements including mentors, basic skills, tutoring assistance, physical activity, and strong discipline. New forms of curriculum are either being researched or implemented which are designed to support middle and high school students develop a positive, healthy, and empowered sense of identity. Topics include sexuality, sex education, healthy relationships, puberty, brain development, and developmental psychology. Additionally, we are exploring options to include spirituality, values, and ethics. New career opportunities are being developed by working with our partners at Buffalo State College, Erie Community College, YouthBuild, and The Foundry. We want the children of this community to be able to grow up in their own time, allow them to be children and learn at their own pace, and feel like they have all the support they need to have a long, happy life.

The SSCDC is extremely fortunate to have a passionate, committed staff, board, and volunteers, our stakeholders, who will move mountains to make even the slightest improvement in our kids' lives. Over the years we have established a network of grantors and donors who have given freely time and time again to keep the lights on, the doors open, and the food on the table. Through the amazing work of our stakeholders we have opportunities to have a grant writer on the staff, an expanded learning center with new PCs provided by a local company, and add programs such as yoga, cooking classes, and knitting and sewing lessons as added benefits to our children. Recently, we have begun laying the groundwork for new programs and services for the entire community, including the mothers and fathers who so desperately want a better life for their children. By partnering with local medical facilities, government representatives, local banking institutions, and local businesses, there are plans to consider providing remote health and dental services, affordable housing opportunities, and financial training and assistance to our hardworking moms and dads that we also serve. This sudden growth and positive activity is nothing less than the results of a lot of love and labor by those that have been with the organization since its inception and those new faces that have joined our staff, our volunteers, or our board with new and invigorating ideas. The SSCDC is expected to see remarkable growth over the coming years and we are well positioned to adequately handle the challenges that kind of growth entail.

We have significantly expanded our offering of programs and services well beyond the initial after school program. We are excited to have our first two students who grew up in the organization representing the first in their families to attend college. We have children aspiring to follow in their footsteps. All of our kids in the program successfully moved on to the next grade level this year. This year we developed the Bro for the Boys initiative with the help of donors. Graduation rates have improved significantly. We are excited to bring health and wellness options to the community along with financial assistance, affordable housing, and crackdowns on absentee landlords. We are proud of our past. We are working diligently today. We are excited for what's to come next.

Financials

SENECA STREET COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SENECA STREET COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Board of directors
as of 02/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Joe Bell

Retired Group Vice President and General Manager, Moog Space and Defense Group

Term: 2017 -

Joe Bell

Retired Group Vice-President and General Manager, Moog Space and Defense Group

Robert Montgomery

Retired CFO, Columbia-McKinnon Corporation

Matthew Sydor

Housing Retention Counselor, Evergreen Health Services

Nick Bell

Buyer, PCB Piezotronics

Rose Caldwell

Communications & Public Relations Director, Catholic Charities of Buffalo

Joseph Cohen

Senior Vice-President, Director of Estimating, CannonDesign AIA CPA

Mary Cohen

Special Education Teacher, ECMC PEDS

Terri Kolodziej

Director of Clinical Education, Physical Therapy, Daemon College

Richard McDermott

Compliance & Control Analyst, Key Bank

Rev. Victor Metivier

Retired UMC Clergy

Ron Peters

Executive Secretary, St. John's Lutheran Home for Children

Rev. Brian Rotach

Seneca Street United Methodist Church

Rollin Shoemaker

President, Career Management Systems

Brad Stooksbury

Vice-President, Senior Compliance Officer, M&T Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No