In 2001, Vietnamese residents in Dorchester decided to build a center at the heart of the Vietnamese community in Massachusetts. The center would be a brand new complex with a non-profit tenant group providing a comprehensive mix of services to meet the needs of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. The Vietnamese American Community Center was a major community project coordinated by VietAID staff and a 28 member Community Center Steering Committee. This committee involved 100 additional volunteers, who successfully raised more than $140,000 from over 1,000 individuals and businesses for the project. The organizing committee ultimately raised $5.1 million from grassroots, major corporate and foundation supporters, and government agencies to fund the construction project in its entirety. The center’s planning process built leadership within the Vietnamese community by engaging Vietnamese-speaking residents to identify issues and needs, mobilizing other residents’ support, and assisting VietAID to incorporate the community’s input in the center’s development phases.
To this day, the community center remains a safe and welcoming space where Dorchester residents can celebrate, organize, gather, and access needed services. The Vietnamese American Community Center (VACC) serves a place for the community to come together and take part in or learn about programs that can help them improve their health, education, financial well-being, and more. The VACC houses VietAID’s day-care program, which serves 58 pre-school age children, as well as our VSPY and VALA programs, with 65-70 children in the afterschool program and as many as 120 children here during summer months. VietAID is just one of several community organizations that operates out of the VACC. On any given day, as many as 200 children, youth, and adults access services in the building.
The VACC has several available rooms, including the grand hall, to rent for community-focused events and meetings. If you are interested in reserving space, please contact Linh Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 822-3717 x15.