The primary mission of CREATE is to confront the issues
of homelessness, poverty, chemical abuse and unemployment
as they impact Harlem and other communities in New York.
CREATE, Inc. , formerly known as "Project Create," was
incorporated in the State of New York in March 1974 under
the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law to provide:
- medically supervised counseling, informational
and referral services to persons who are chemically
- transitional and temporary housing and support services
to persons who are homeless; and
- social services
and socialization to persons who are elderly.
In 1973, the organization received
a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
through the New York State Office of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse Services to implement
a model community-based drug treatment program.
In responding to the problems and needs of destitute chemical
abusers in the Harlem community and New York City at
large, CREATE established a variety of services. It
offered and continues to provide
health, social services, chemical abuse treatment
and rehabilitation services to clients. These
rehabilitation services include vocational and
career training and placement and transition to
independent and productive living.
The background and inspiration
for CREATE, Inc. go back to the 1960's, a time of
social and spiritual change. Fr. Benedict Taylor,
OFM., the founder, was one of the first Franciscan
Friars at St. Francis of Assisi Church at midtown
31st Street to reach out and moved to meet a growing
need in uptown Harlem.
Perez, a lay worker at the St. Francis Church,
joined Fr. Ben in founding and developing
the programs and facilities of CREATE, Inc. A lay
affiliate member of the Franciscans, Ralph Perez,
serving as CREATE's Executive Director and CEO,
oversees the continuing growth and development of
In 1970 the program received funds
from the Franciscan community to operate an outreach
storefront and began the renovation of an abandoned
building to be used for treatment and rehabilitation
of individuals recovering from chemical dependence
and other problems. In 1973, the agency began to
receive governmental grants to implement a variety
of community-based programs to serve those in need.
Thus with a street corner storefront
and a brownstone and the voluntary help of concerned
persons, CREATE, Inc. (Chance to
Re-Evolve A Total
Environment) was born.