About The Center

Our Vision

We envision a world where all youth grow and thrive in an equitable and beloved community.

Our Mission

We partner with youth to realize their full potential, by creating opportunities, removing barriers and promoting social justice.

Our Promise

Started by kids for kids – we offer services rooted in a culture of belonging, growth, and understanding to ensure youth voices will always be heard and respected.


In 1971, a group of students from Brighton High School had an idea to create a “center” that would meet the needs specific to youth in Rochester, NY. The philosophy supporting the vision was quite radical for the time: that young people, given information and support, could make their own positive life choices. They founded The Center to be informed by youth, for youth. The Center for Youth continues with this as our core principle. We are committed to empowering and advocating for vulnerable youth while always elevating their voices. Our mission is to provide comprehensive programs completely free, voluntary, and confidentially.

Runaway, Housing, and Crisis Services (RHY)

Shelter, Housing, and Crisis Services are some of the most essential services that The Center provides. Including two crisis nurseries, an emergency shelter, permanent and transitional housing for the general population and a variety of special focus groups, a food and clothing pantry, street outreach, and more. You can find more information on the RHY program below. 



A Bridge to Peace: Restorative Practices in Action

This new sector of The Center provides youth-centered activities, programs and an open and welcoming space to encourage positive youth engagement, socialization and restorative practices. In 2020 we opened A Bridge to Peace, the former Monroe YMCA, as our youth center.

A Bridge to Peace is a safe place for young people who are disconnected from services and supports. We offer unique programming focusing on peace and justice, restorative practices and opportunities for engagement including Place of Peace, a meditation and quiet space, and Learn2Earn, a workforce development initiative that provides job training, employment navigation and workforce readiness. Read more about the programs offered seasonally and the other opportunities at Bridge to Peace below. 

School-Based Programming

The Center delivers an array of school-based services to thousands of young people each year, including the Alternative-to-Suspension program, Crisis Intervention, After-School Programs, Prevention Education Services intervention/ prevention/ help zone, as well as school-based counseling services and child and family therapy. This area also houses Strings for Success, Earthworks, and Teen Court. Find out more about school-based programming below. 

Contact us

Need help now? Call our crisis line.

24 Hour Crisis Line


Use the form below if you don’t have access to a phone, or have a non-urgent message:

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