David Jon Louison Center

David Jon Louison was the 5-year-old son of one of Brockton's prominent attorneys who was kidnapped in 1974.  The Greater Brockton community united, raising reward money for use to secure the child's safe return.  Unfortunately, that did not happen, and the family made the decision to use reward funds to open a shelter.

The David Jon Louison (DJL) Center was founded in 1982 as a non-profit, charitable, educational foundation created to serve families with infants and toddlers who were homeless or living in cars, abandoned buildings, and overcrowded apartments.  The original center has expanded to encompass three adjoining properties located in a residential neighborhood in the Greater Brockton.

After a quarter of a century of successful service delivery to homeless families, the David Jon Louison Center's Board of Directors voted to merge with the Old Colony YMCA, thereby adding value and significantly enhancing the mission of both organizations.  The David Jon Louison Center was chartered with YMCA of the USA as an Old Colony Y division in July 2006.

The Old Colony YMCA DJL Center's mission is to assist families through the crisis of homelessness, while providing services that promote a successful transition towards self-sufficiency.  The Center was founded on the principle that every human being has dignity.  Homeless individuals often lose their own sense of dignity, therefore, the Center strives to recognize, reinforce, and respect the dignity of all people who come to us for assistance.

The Center offers temporary shelter as well as educational opportunities for the personal, social, and economic growth of all members of the homeless families.  Once housed and self-sufficient, it is hoped that these individuals and their families will continue to recognize their own unique dignity, value, and self worth as they work towards the fulfillment of their goals and their own personal potential.

Services offered to families in DJL Center care include:

  • Emergency shelter

  • 24-hour staff coverage

  • Food pantry as necessary

  • Clothing when necessary

  • Access to medical care

  • Transportation for housing appointments

  • Handicap accessibility

  • Intensive Case Management

  • Family Care Planning (individualized strength-based treatment plans)

  • Weekly Meetings with Case Manager

  • Communal House Meetings

  • Subsidized Child Care

  • Job Search

  • Career Choice Assistance

  • Educational Counseling/Support

  • After-Care Case Management and Support

  • Support Groups (Parenting, Women's Issues, Self-Esteem, Girls Empowerment...)

  • Mental Health Services through referral to our Mental Health Clinic

  • Individual and Family Therapy

  • Mediation and Family Support

  • Life and Pro-Social Skill Building Activities

  • Budgeting classes conducted through partnership with Harbor One

  • Individual financial management and credit counseling

  • Family Memberships to the Y (includes fitness center and all fitness classes, youth programming, swimming lessons, karate lessons, youth sports leagues, etc.)

  • Big Sister Big Brother Mentoring Services

  • Children attend YMCA Summer Camp

  • Arts and Crafts classes for children

  • Toddler group - child witness to violence project for 2-4 yr olds

  • Homework Club and tutoring

  • Volunteer led "Fun Friday's" and "Family Fun Nights"

  • BBQ's, game nights, swimming parties, etc.

The Old Colony Y David Jon Louison Center offers services based upon a vision of unifying and fortifying families in crisis by surrounding them with all the strengths the YMCA and our community-based partners have to offer.  This vital program provides housing plus intensive wrap around services designed to shorten homelessness and meet individual needs, enabling parents and children to stabilize, work on goals, and eventually flourish independently in the community.

For information, please contact:

Erin Spaulding, Executive Director
Family Services Branch
David Jon Louison Center
137 Newbury Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 584-4315
e-mail