Syracuse Outreach Center Modernizing Without a Permanent Leader Syracuse Community Center is Modernizing, Even Without a Permanent Leader

Quentin Lehn: A long-standing community outreach center is trying to move ahead with the times, but as NCC News’ Mateo Estling reports live in studio, They are doing so without a permanent leader, Mateo?

Mateo Estling: Yes Quentin. The Dunbar Center is celebrating its 100th year in Syracuse but is doing so without a permanent director. This led to the enlisting of help from recently retired administrator of Syracuse City School District Phyllis Moore.

Phyllis Moore: They were in need of someone who could step in and keep the programs running.

Estling: Moore first came to the Center some four decades ago, and many of the programs, which serve youths, young adults, and senior citizens have not changed since then. Moore hopes to adapt these programs to current times.

Moore: We try to make sure the services and programs that we have in place are meeting the needs currently of senior and youth

Estling: The updated services include having youths and seniors interact with each other, more programs to deal with poverty and homelessness, and a new website, to expand their reach. Mateo Estling, live in studio, NCC News.

The Dunbar Center, a staple in the Syracuse Community, celebrated its 100th anniversary in June, but without a permanent Director, it was a tumultuous centennial.

To fill the void, the community outreach center brought in Phyliss Moore, a retired Administrator in the Syracuse City School District.

“They were in need of someone to step in and keep the programs running”, said Moore. “We’ve had a few turnovers in the last few years.”

Moore first joined The Dunbar Center some 40 years ago, where she worked in the youth program for the Center. The Dunbar Center provides many services, including a Neighboorhood advisory program, community dinners, senior citizen exercise and meal programs, and after-school tutorial and recreational programs for youths.

“We got systems in place that supports the programs in operation.”, says Moore on taking over. “So, I imagine that because I’ve been here and some of the other workers have been here it has been seamless.”

Moore’s task is not just limited to maintaining the programs in their current state, though. She is also trying to move the Dunbar Center into modern times.

“We try to make sure the services and programs that we have in place are meeting the current needs of seniors and youth”, says Moore. “We also coordinate with other community centers what they are doing”.

The programs that the Dunbar Center is trying to incorporate include more focus on poverty and homelessness, more “interaction between youths and senior citizens at the Center, and a new website.

Although a search for a new director has been an important task for the Dunbar Center, Moore still thinks her role as interim director has been worthwhile.

“A lot of the responsibilities have to fall on those who are in charge”, Moore says. “I was definitely eye-opening to be on the other side of the table”


Reported by

Mateo Estling

Mateo Estling is a Sophomore at Syracuse University, and currently studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism at the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications. Mateo is a staff writer for the Daily Orange and has done work with Citrus TV,

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