P.O. Box 2185
E. Saint Louis, IL 62202
(618) 874-0637
director@griffincenter-esl.org

The Griffin Center

Every afternoon, hundreds of East St. Louis children leave school and go to Griffin Center, where they participate in recreational activities or meet with tutors who help them with their studies. Griffin Center serves about 425 children from six public housing developments. Griffin Center programs are located at four “community spaces” owned by the East St. Louis Housing Authority and leased for $1 a year to Catholic Urban Programs of East St. Louis, the parent agency of Griffin Center. In return, Griffin Center’s social service and educational programs are provided free to children and families who live in the developments. Catholic Urban Programs is an affiliate of Catholic Charities of Southern Illinois through the Diocese of Belleville, but Griffin Center serves predominately non-Catholic children.

Recent News

The recent Harvard Study that looked at earning power over a 30 year period for people born into poverty was very sobering. At Griffin Center we know how difficult it is for our children to overcome the odds and break the cycle of generational poverty. Our mission is to change that statistic. Our programs of educational support and social/emotional growth are intended to help children reach their full potential and develop into happy, healthy, self-supporting, productive citizens.

We believe in our children's ability to succeed in breaking the cycle of generational poverty. In order to do that they need advocates to challenge the systems that have failed them for so long. It is our hope for their futures...a hope that in the words of St. Augustine has "two beautiful daughters - anger and courage: anger that sees things the way they are and courage to make things the way they ought to be" This hope compels us to continually challenge the school district and other social systems that are failing the poor and disadvantaged.