Revitalization of Eurma C. Hayes Center

The Eurma C. Hayes Center, named after a longtime community activist, was constructed with support from the Model Cities program — a nationwide project backed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of his “unconditional war on poverty.” The center sought to provide critical social, medical and educational services to the northeast side of Carbondale, which was where Black residents were once segregated.

The mission of the Eurma C. Hayes Center is, in part, to “support and provide the unrepresented communities and populations with socio-economic resources and opportunities, higher quality education, superior healthcare and excellent childcare services,”

Once a hub of activity in Carbondale's northeast neighborhood, the 12,000-square-foot Eurma C. Hayes Center now stands mostly vacant and in disrepair.   A newly appointed board and executive director are working to revive the one-time community staple.

When it was built in the historically Black neighborhood in 1974, the center was designed to provide essential services and a public meeting place for Carbondale residents.  But today, the building that once housed a medical clinic, literacy program and daycare has only a few tenants and appears closed off to residents.  
The aging building is in need of major renovations. 

Please help revitalize this worthwhile structure.  Without the center in full swing, the residents miss out on vital programs.  The center should be there to serve and enrich the community as a whole.
Eurma C. Hayes, who died in 1970, was devoted to giving back to her community and had a “passion and dream” of opening a center that would help countless friends, neighbors and community members, according to her biography. Her family doesn’t want to see that legacy of helping others forgotten.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Eurma C. Hayes Center 
Carbondale, IL
Marc Morris 
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