Youth and the Houston Center: Growing Up Together

Produced by: 
The United Communities Southeast Philadelphia and the Southeast Philadelphia Collaborative with Scribe Video Center

Individual Film Price:

Higher Education Institutions & Government Agency DVD | $49.95
K-12 & Public Libraries DVD | $49.95
Home Video DVD License – Restrictions Apply | $20.00



Precious Places Compilation Price:

This video is available for purchase as part of a Precious Places Community History Project Vol.2 compilation DVD.

Higher Education Institutions DVD | $139.00
K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups DVD | $79.00
Home Video DVD License – Restrictions Apply DVD | $20.0



Scribe Video Center Program:

The Precious Places Community History Project is a community oral history project inviting members of the Philadelphia region's many neighborhoods to document the buildings, public spaces, parks, landmarks and other sites that hold the memories of our communities and define where we live. Precious Places teaches the video production process to participating groups, fostering projects authored by those who intimately know the featured neighborhoods.


Humanities Consultant: NaOme Richardson 
Post Production: John Pettit


Film Story:

The Houston Community Center carries on a long and illustrious tradition of social service in this ethnically diverse South Philadelphia neighborhood. Founded in 1901 as St. Martha’s House, the organization functioned as a settlement house serving the predominantly Italian and Eastern European immigrant communities of the area. St. Martha’s provided education and health services and emphasized “integration and assimilation” programs for immigrants intended to ease their transition into an unfamiliar city and culture. Changing its name to the Houston Center 1966, the settlement house evolved with the changing neighborhood. The center developed a strong youth orientation, with after-school programs thriving as neighborhood kids took advantage of the Center’s recreation and education offerings. The center became, as Maitlon Russell remembers his time there as a child, like “a giant babysitter” to the neighborhood. The youth focus has continued into recent times: in 2003 a collaborative founded the Youth Leadership council, sponsoring a “teen lounge,” dances, and games. Youth and the Houston Center: Growing Up Together tells the story of this vital South Philly community space through the memories of several generations of its patrons.


Film Stills