JPC offers Community Development, Special Needs Housing, Nutrition, Recreation, Mentoring and Advocacy

Positive change continues at Johnson Park!

Charity Bib

About Johnson Park Center

JPC is located in the Johnson Park-Cornhill community in the inner city of Utica.

In 1995, JPC CEO/Founder Rev. Dr. Maria A. Scates, D.D., came to Utica and went to the worst area in the inner city called Cornhill. It was known for drugs, crime, violence, gangs, murder and full of trash, garbage and debris. But through vision, dedication, commitment and hard work and with our community development strategies anchored in affordable low-income safe & supportive housing, it has caused the revitalization of the Johnson Park-Cornhill Community. Today, Johnson Park is a beautiful, clean and safe place where the homeless, the poor & needy can come and get help.

Rev. Dr. Maria A. Scates

Chief Executive Officer Biography, History & Accomplishments
JPC CEO/Founder Rev. Dr. Maria A. Scates, D.D.

Read Rev. Dr. Maria A. Scates' full biography


Through supportive housing and various programs, we teach participants the ABC's which means: be A- accountable for your actions, B- set boundaries in your life; C- be committed to positive change and we recently added D- make a decision to do it. It's about changing people lives, attitudes and the community. Though supportive housing, people like Rev. Dr. Scates, who were once considered a community liability, have become community assets.

To date, JPC has receive over $9 million dollars for our capital projects which has created a total of 33 safe & supportive housing low-income permanent housing for homeless mothers, children and single females. We also provide emergency housing services for traditional and non-traditional families and women. Our strategies for community development include recreation/education/ positive socialization for children and their families, a food pantry, a community garden & a nutritious meal feeding program as well as mentoring/advocacy and life coaching.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Happy 20th Birthday, a history of Johnson Park Center


Mission Statement

JCTOD Outreach, Inc. dba Johnson Park Center (JPC) is a faith-based non-profit organization that promotes positive change, revitalization, and community development in the heart of Cornhill, the poorest neighborhood in the City of Utica, New York. We provide emergency and supportive housing for women, children, and families, as well as a range of community-based support services in the areas of nutrition, recreation, mentoring, and advocacy. Our programs build hope and empowerment, and help individuals become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.

26 -28 Johnson Park: Multipurpose Community Use Building

Children/Youth Center

School Year: Tuesday - Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Summer (July and August): Tuesday - Thursday, 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Programs and services include:

  • After School Program, Education, Recreation, Youth Feeding
  • Program, Youth Block Association and Youth Voice
  • Initiative (Leadership Development), Prevention Programs.

Youth Center/ Basketball-Playground Program

This program is designed to address the need of wholesome recreation by providing a youth center and a neighborhood basketball playground. The program will also provide the necessary discipline for the youth to help them to aspire to achieve positive life goals. The staff and volunteers serve as positive role models and mentors for the children, especially to the critical high-risk population – minority youth from single parent families whose incomes are below the poverty line.

1402, 1404, 1406, 1409-1411 West Street & 26, 5 Johnson Park: Program Sites

Available services include Mentoring/Tutoring; Community Needs Training / Workshops; Family Empowerment & Prevention Programs; Nutrition Education; Let's Grow Community Garden; Community Advocacy; Preparation Classes for Employment & Job Club, and Mentoring/Life Coaching for Ex-Offenders.

Food Pantry

Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Pantry is available to the community to provide food for the hungry and underprivileged, the less fortunate and the working poor.

Emergency Family Shelter

Year Round Availability

The Family Shelter provides up to 18 beds for homeless women with children and traditional and non-traditional small and very large families. The Department of Social Services will refer eligible homeless clients, who must qualify as low income.

5, 15, 16, 18, 19 Johnson Park, 201-203 Square St., 1414-16 & 1420 West St. – Permanent Low-Income Supportive Housing

For homeless mothers & their children & chronically homeless single women that needs continual support services. Johnson Park Apartments (JPA) has 33 housing options with 4, 3, 2, 1-bedroom and efficiency apartments / handicap accessible.

New Project:

JPA V located at 1418 West Street & 210 Arthur Street - JPC 1st Green-LEED Certified Permanent Low-Income Supportive Housing for chronically homeless single women.