Who We Are


Our Mission is to empower people of all ages and abilities in our communities, especially those most in need, to reach their fullest potential as productive and responsible citizens through initiatives that support and enrich children, teens, and families.


Our Vision is to support and strengthen our diverse neighborhoods by meeting the evolving needs of individuals and families. We work to develop the whole person from educating to providing sustenance, and thus, cultivate a vibrant community.


Founded as North Light Boys’ Club by Principal Anne Wright and Police Captain Franklin P. Luckman in 1936 as a drop-in center to divert community youth from delinquency and petty crime, North Light Community Center has organically evolved in response to changing community needs. North Light has only had four executive directors, all of whom have promoted a continued culture of holistic community support that has not wavered, even during trying times. John Willard and Irene Madrak developed a holistic continuum of care through their leadership from the 1950s through the end of 2019. Today, North Light is a place where children learn and play in a safe and nurturing environment, teens learn skills to prepare them for college and career opportunities as well as realize their full potential, and families and individuals in need receive critical assistance.


Lowering Overdose and Violence Epidemics (LOVE) is an initiative that embeds trauma-informed care and resilience-building into all that North Light does. Though stress in small doses is a normal part of life, when stress becomes inescapable and overwhelming, it falls into a category of toxic stress that puts people at increased risk for poor behavioral, mental, physical, and social health outcomes. LOVE ensures that we support all community members, particularly those most at-risk, such as our constituents living below the poverty line or those who have suffered a loss in their immediate family, by promoting wellness in our communities. Integrating health and wellness into all of our programs as well as offering parenting classes are just a few ways we can offer a continuum of care for our community.

We also believe that in order to create a safe and healthy space here at North Light we have to have a healthy organization. This begins with ensuring that our policies and procedures are affirming and supportive. It also begins with educating all staff and volunteers about trauma science, and ensuring that we continue to promote best practices and a culture of growth, learning, and resilience. This includes but is not limited to investing in training in trauma informed care and the SafeZone Initiative. The SafeZone Initiative educates staff and volunteers about the LGBTQIA+ community.

Our ultimate goal is to understand and create a safe environment where all people are able to open up and ask for help when they are in need, ensuring that we can meet the deeper needs of our constituents and the community as a whole.