According to Joseph Robles, board chairman at St. Nicks, they repaired the building and straightened out the settlement house’s finances.
“It’s our moral responsibility to not let an asset like this, a real service to the community, slip away and wind up with more condo development,” he said.
St. Nicks already has an expansive portfolio in the community, including building affordable housing, organizing tenants, providing elder care services, offering workforce development and hosting summer camps for youth.
But for the School Settlement Association, Robles said their goal is to build a new community center and school annex that will better serve children in the area.
“If you have a good place for them to learn how to compete in sports and other activities, they will be engaged in positive things,” Robles said. “Whereas out on the streets, they can get themselves in trouble with negative things.
“As board chair at St. Nicks, it’s been a goal of mine, in my tenure, to produce a gym,” he added.
Robles said when he sees all of the development in the community, and the revenue that is produced from it, he feels the government should step up and fund new facilities to help meet the neighborhood’s growing needs.
“The need is here, it’s time to step up,” he said. “They have to do it, or they’re not doing their jobs.
“You ever hear that somebody has to stand up for the little guy?” Robles added. “There are a lot of little guys here, and we have to stand up for them.”