Human beings are social creatures. We might appreciate and even need moments of reflective solitude but at heart – we are connected to one another. Through blood, through love and through proximity.
Living in a vibrant community with active and engaged residents serves to unify and strengthen the bond between residents and that’s exactly what is happening at San Castle.
An unincorporated patch of land between Lantana and Boynton Beach, San Castle has been overlooked in the past but Community Partners and the area’s 929 families are looking to change that.
At the beginning of this year, the County Office of Community Revitalization invited Community Partners to lease a county-owned building, repurpose it as a community center and work with residents towards a common goal – community enrichment.
A community comprised of mostly Haitian and Hispanic residents, San Castle residents have the fifth highest teen pregnancy rate in Palm Beach County and 42% kindergarten readiness rate.
The residents of San Castle were ready to Change The Odds for their children.
Doing so would require several resources and over the next few months, residents teamed up with Community Partners and community engagement specialist Barbara Cheives to create a plan which placed the concerns and needs of the residents front and center of the project.
“By all of CP partnering with the residents to define concerns, seek community assets, and make decisions about programming to create change in their neighborhood, I believe San Castle is the best “lab” at Changing the Odds,” said San Castle project lead and Vice-President of Community Services, Jaime Lee Brown.
In addition to hosting recreational activities and exercise classes, residents are determined to make their community center a safe place where all residents can play, learn and grow together. In addition to setting up social service referrals, San Castle residents want their programming to focus on issues that closely impact their community. Namely, after-school care, teen pregnancy prevention, drug and gang prevention and mentoring.
The future looks bright for the community with programming scheduled to move into the center by the end of this month and a grand opening scheduled for October.
“San Castle is important because it reminds each of us who we are really doing this work for,” said Jaime Lee. “We need to be constantly reminded that, at the end of the day, the work we do should directed and benefit those intended to participate.”
If you would like to volunteer or donate to San Castle, please email communications coordinator Jaime Joshi by clicking here.