The History

Unity Neighborhood Center was established in 1999 to serve the void in services for children and youth and advocacy in the North East Bronx.  The specific communities targeted were the: Wakefield, Edenwald, Baychester and Williamsbridge.

Unity‘s purpose was to ensure that, especially the children and youth had services provided to them that would seek to support them in their development. The areas of quality after school care, teen centers with caring and nurturing staff was its main goal. Also, Unity wanted to be a place where adults in the community that were in need of assistance in navigating the various systems in local and city government could be provided with support. Unity continues to work towards this goal by ensuring that all of the people it serves understands and believe that they can have a strong voice and role in their daily lives.  

Unity’s name was born out of the strong encouragement and support the founder, Jessie W. Collins received from the Rev. Alphesus Townsend, the pastor of Unity Temple of Peace. It was decided after much thought and consideration, that UNITY would be the key word to the success of a new organization.  The goal was to unite the above communities into a cohesive community serving children, youth, young adults and adults.  The name of the new organization was Unity Neighborhood Center.


The Staff

Jessie W. Collins

   Jessie W. Collins, Founder and Executive Director. It was her deep committment as an Executive Director of a settlement house in the Northeast Bronx and her tenure as a middle school teacher in her community that led to her deep interest in providing a safe haven for children, youth, adults in her community. The officers of the organization are Chairperson Ms. Catherine Jackson, Vice Chairperson Michael L. Blount, Treasurer Renard Perkinson, Secretary Agyeman Senkyire, Reveren Keith Williams, and Human Rights Specialist Leroy Archibald.