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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BELL NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER

BELL NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER

The BELL NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER, offering social service in the HOUGH area, was est. in the late 1950s as a branch of the Goodrich Settlement House (later GOODRICH-GANNETT NEIGHBORHOOD CTR.). After construction of the INNERBELT FREEWAY through its service area, Goodrich officials decided to serve eastern Hough. Financed by a CLEVELAND FOUNDATION grant, Goodrich began work in Hough in 1958, targeting the area bounded by E. 79th, Ansel Rd., Euclid, and Superior. In 1959 Ohio Bell Telephone Co. (later AMERITECH) donated its building at 1839 E. 81st St. as the headquarters for this Goodrich branch, called the Bell Neighborhood Ctr. In its early years, Bell Ctr. staff described its work as "social rehabilitation," especially of young people. Projects in the early 1960s included voter-registration, cooperative cleanup campaigns with street clubs, summer employment of youth, and interracial workshops. Responding to the civil-rights movement, suburban volunteers and donations assisted the Bell Neighborhood Ctr. in establishing a nursery school and library (1963-65), for example. By late 1966 more than 50 staff managed activities, including a birth-control clinic, Head Start, scholarships, a committee to improve citizen-police relations, civic education, and the development of street clubs. Throughout the 1960s the Bell Neighborhood Ctr. served as a locus for community activism. In June 1970, assisted by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, the center began providing breakfast and lunch to needy children year-round. By 1973 the Bell Neighborhood Ctr. had moved to the new Hough Multi-Service Ctr., 8555 Hough.


Finding aid for the Goodrich Social Settlement Records. WRHS.

Finding aid for the Goodrich Social Settlement Records, Series II. WRHS.

Finding aid for the Goodrich Social Settlement Photographs. WRHS.