From humble beginnings, the Dakota Center visualized to be the leading advocate for children and seniors. The Dakota Center’s roots may be traced to a storefront building in west Dayton, 645 Dakota Street. On May 8, 1965, Father Philip C. Hoelle, S.M., and William Hoben, Professor & Dean of the University of Dayton School of Business, founded the small community center as a safe haven for children and seniors. After a fire destroyed the original building, an invitation to move into a neighborhood church basement was accepted and there Dakota Center remained until the 1976 purchase of a carriage house at the rear of the west Dayton Young Women’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) on South Summit Street, now S. Paul Laurence Dunbar Street. Upon the completion of an extensive capital campaign in 2000, Father Hoelle and the Dakota Center Board of Directors purchased land and constructed a 1,365 sq. ft. facility at 33 Barnett Street, the former home of Garfield Elementary School. Nearly 50 years since its founding, the Dakota Center remains focused on the citizens of Dayton and Montgomery County to continue quality programs through Youth Enrichment Services featuring the After-school/Homework Club, 3DI (Drill, Dance, & Percussion), Organized Sports, Summer Day Camp, and First Job Training. The senior program, the Golden Age Club, assists seniors with health and lifestyle management, while encouraging and motivating their independence. This Dayton Original lives up to its mission of building character and connecting community!