Video: Family Center Success Stories

The following 3 videos are part of a presentation called "The Revitalization of Neighborhoods," given by a member of the Hartford Foundation's Brighter Futures Initiative in Washington, D.C. on July 24th, 2014. The presentation focuses on the success of Hartford Family Centers, and how they've helped improve the neighborhoods in which they reside.

George Day Park
Parkville Family Center

George Day Park, located on Arbor Street, had become dilapidated. The park was littered with garbage and home to drugs and crime. Then, a few years ago, a group of neighborhood residents, led by the Parkville Family Center, came together to make a change. Over the course of 3-4 years, they petitioned the city government, raised donations and helped with planning and construction of the new park. In this video, we tell the story of the park's revitalization, speak with some of the people responsible, and show what can happen when a community comes together to work toward a common cause.

Cooking Matters
El Centro Family Center

This video tells the story of Wanda Cancel, a Hartford resident who came to El Centro Family Center on Wadsworth Street at a time when she was struggling with her confidence. Wanda became involved in many of the center's programs, but especially shined as part of the Cooking Matters program. After attending the program and learning about food and nutrition, Wanda was able to obtain her food license and find employment cooking for senior citizens. She has gained confidence throughout the process and has been able to improve her family's situation.

Fatherhood Program
Parker Memorial Family Center

The final video is an interview with Kristopher Wright, who came to the Parker Memorial Center on Main Street to participate in the Fatherhood Program. Despite his initial hesitancy, Kris quickly warmed up to the idea and became a leader in the program. He received training from the center and was later offered a parent facilitator position in the center's Parent Cafe program. Kris's experience in the Fatherhood Program and the Parent Cafe helped him become a better parent and get more involved in his children's schooling. It also allowed him to reconnect with his own father, after a decade of not speaking. Here, Kris tells his story, and how the center helped him to become, in his own words, a better man.