Our History

For two decades, we have helped over 10,000 families stay stronger, longer.

The Family Center was born from the vision of four women who, while working at the NYC Department of Social Services, saw a gap in services pertaining to the needs of families affected by HIV/AIDS.  Little was being done to prepare the children for death, mourning and rebuilding their lives. With these families in mind, The Family Center was founded in 1994 to give children a secure future. By providing comprehensive legal and social services under one umbrella, The Family Center’s mission was to stabilize families and to help them cope with the implications and gravity of their health situation.

A lot has changed since 1994; individuals can now live longer lives with carefully treated HIV/AIDS. The Family Center also realized through research and evaluation that our model of offering comprehensive services strengthens families experiencing other hardships, not just parental illness.  As such, the scope of services offered by our agency has continued to evolve. We now offer a unique combination of social and legal services, including health care and wellness programs, to New Yorkers struggling with a family crisis or loss. Though the conditions of hardship change, we are focused on staying with our client families every step of the way, promoting long-term family stability.

1991 to 1995

  • Robin Hood helps TFC acquire 5th floor space at 66 Reade
  • Creation of The Family Center as a program of the Medical and Health Research Association of NYC, Inc. (now Public Health Solutions)
  • Ivy Gamble Cobb works with colleagues to found The Buddy Program

1996 to 2000

  • TFC is incorporated and receives its independent not-for-profit status
  • TFC begins its Consumer Outreach Program which involves clients more directly in agency programming (This group later becomes the Consumer Advisory Council and Peer Outreach Committee)

2001 to 2005

  • Robin Hood Foundation helps TFC add the 3rd floor of 66 Reade Street, which includes an emphasis on therapeutic services, play therapy room and the mirror “observation” room
  • TFC provides assistance to families facing loss as a result of the World Trade Center attacks
  • Brooklyn office opens in Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • TFC celebrates 10 years of service

2006 to 2010

2010 to present