The Dakota Center’s mission is to provide a safe community atmosphere engaging Dayton neighborhoods and people of all ages in programs that educate the whole person.
The center is currently in its sixth decade of service tracing back to the vision that the Center’s founders, Philip C. Hoelle, S.M., and William Hoben, had of building a community where there is education for the whole person.
The center's original location was the old St. Emerick Social Hall on Dakota Street. A fire destroyed this facility in June 1974. The Dakota Center continued its programs at 408 N. Conover Street, using the Holy Name Church facilities. In 1976 Dakota Center moved to the MacFarlane neighborhood and operated out of a converted carriage house for nearly 25 years. Money set aside by the Society of Mary and funds raised from local individuals and foundations allowed for the construction of a new facility at Barnett and West 5th Streets. Staff moved their offices in October, 2000, and the new Dakota Center was dedicated in May, 2001.
Since that time, the Dakota Center has become a landmark in the MacFarlane neighborhood and offers a full calendar of activities. Clients number more than 1,350 who are involved in two or more programs per year. Accomplishments include students kept in school and alumni who contribute to society.