The Anacostia Community Outreach Center (ACOC) was founded in 1981 as an inter-faith collaboration between Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, Allen Chapel AME Church, and Hunter Memorial Baptist Church. Founder Rose G. Jones felt a divine calling to help the needy, and as a DC resident, she couldn’t help but notice how some parts of the city were underserved by social service agencies.
Rose endeavored to establish a social service outreach center in Southeast DC, Ward 8. With the help of her pastor and friends at these churches, Rose opened the Allen Chapel Outreach Center. The three churches that supported the initial growth of the center, although of different denominations, were also concerned over the extreme conditions of poverty that had befallen Anacostia neighborhoods. They united to help address the physical, economic, educational and social needs of this community. Initially, the Allen Chapel Outreach Center distributed food and clothing on an emergency basis, and financial assistance was provided as well. Educational support for elementary school aged youth in the community was instituted in 1984 through a summer tutoring and enrichment program and Saturday Academy held during the school year. Later, an employment counseling and job placement service was added. Over the years, these programs and services made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of DC residents. In 1999, the Center was incorporated as a separate non-profit organization, and renamed the Anacostia Community Outreach Center (ACOC).
During the past few years, ACOC has undergone significant restructuring, and made great strides in staff and board leadership, organizational management, services and programming, resources (financial and other), client populations, and geographic location. In 2008, the organization relocated its main campus to the Langston Dwelling Terrace and Langston Additions Housing Development in Northeast DC, allowing ACOC to serve even more of the Districts most underserved residents. In that same year, ACOC began operating under new leadership and management with the hiring of its current Executive Director, and replaced and added four new Board members. As a result of these changes, ACOC has developed into a thriving and progressive multi-service social service agency, dedicated to providing an array of social, education, and training supports in a community based setting. Our programs and services include the following:
- Children and Youth Programs
- Youth and Adult Education and Training Programs
- Family Strengthening Activities
Through the work of our visionary and dynamic Executive Director Joe Harris, our hardworking and committed staff, and an enthusiastic board of directors, ACOC is poised to continue growing as one of Washington D.C.’s most sought after social and educational service providers!