Community Advocacy Program

The Community Advocacy Program was created as a movement to ensure the continuation, utilization, and creation of supportive therapeutic, educational and recreational services. Growth and Development Services Inc. (GDS) fosters linkages with schools, community-based agencies, and public officials to help advocate for at-risk youth and families and create social change. Participants engage in activism training which promotes a strong sense of self and teaches critical skills needed to advocate for themselves and others.

The video above explains Growth and Development Services (GDS) wrongful eviction, as well as the mismanagement of The NYC Fort Washington Armory, a city-owned building that was designed and created to be a community center for the benefit of the community and its members. 

In the summer of 2019 GDS was forced out of its home in the Heights. GDS’s Community Advocacy Program is working diligently to reclaim this community space for most needed mental health and intergenerational programs. 

GDS is working diligently to help advocate for equal access to essential services and the utilization of public space. The mismanagement of the NYC Fort Washington Armory at 168th Street, a 2-acre city-owned building, is an example of social injustice and profit over people.

Given COVID-19 and social injustices that have plagued our City and Nation, imagine  the benefits youth and families would have from a community center in their neighborhood; a safe haven that provides free mental health, college preparation, career exploration, elder services, leadership development programs and more! ​

Marginalized youth and families are in dire need of community space and supportive services in Northern Manhattan and NYC. This population has extensive disparities because of a lack of access to recreational, educational, mental health, and professional development programs. The toxic environmental and social injustices exacerbate the challenges facing inner-city youth and community members.

We want the members of our community to know, THIS IS YOUR BUILDING, take it back! Let’s reclaim this building and turn it into the Heights Community Center!