Desiring to provide a holistic response to needs in the community, Spirit and Truth Fellowship Church gave birth to Reese Street Community Center as a separate 501(c)(3) in 1992 in order to serve the children and families in one of the poorest neighborhoods of North Philadelphia. The long-term goal of Reese Street Community Center was to serve its surrounding North Philadelphia community by sharing the transforming love of Christ through leadership development, job training, economic development, after school education and programming, legal aid, health care, daycare, referral services, food assistance, and clothing distribution.
In January of 1997, Reese Street Community Center changed its name to Ayuda (which means “help” in Spanish) Community Center and moved along with the church to maintain the strong partnership between the church and the Community Center. The church and the community center moved only fifteen blocks into the neighborhood of Hunting Park, which is bounded by Hunting Park Avenue on the south, Roosevelt Boulevard on the north, Ninth Street on the west, and Fifth Street on the east.
Currently, Ayuda is a community-based and community-owned effort that offers before and after school programs; a community arts center; a summer day camp program; and a free legal clinic.
Its administrative offices operate out of a corner row house in the heart of the community. The Community Arts program is located in a second house directly behind the main office that was recently renovated and now has adequate space to hold classes, workshops and other small events. Spirit and Truth Fellowship houses the before and after-school programs as well as a summer day camp. And the Free Legal Clinic is conducted in the newly renovated building Joy In The City on 6th and Cayuga Streets. All of these programs are coordinated by Ayuda’s staff of four full-time and seven part-time employees. Across the organization, 47 volunteers participate regularly within various programs.