Our History


History of 55 North, formerly known as Hyde Park Center for Older Adults

When the 1970 census showed Hyde Park had the highest concentration of older adults in Ohio, a group of community activists under the leadership of Rev. Kenneth Clarke, who was both Lee Home Executive Director and Executive Vice President of Memorial Homes Foundation (now Episcopal Retirement Services) gathered to discuss the need for a multi-service center for older adults.

In May of 1974, a funding proposal for Hyde Park Multi-Service Center for Older Adults, under Title III of the Older Americans Act, was submitted to the Council on Aging. Jane Carothers was hired as Hyde Park Center’s first Executive Director and began operations of The Center out of a staff automobile to provide outreach and assistance to neighborhood seniors. The following January 1975, Memorial Homes Foundation purchased a home at 3545 Edwards Road and leased the home to the Center allowing for expansion of services.

In April 1978, Episcopal Retirement Services (then called Memorial Homes Foundation) purchased the church building at 2800 Erie Avenue which was leased and renovated by The Center.

United Way and the Community Chest welcomed Hyde Park Center as a new partner in 1979.

On April 14, 1980, a dedication and grand opening of the new Center was held with 2,000 people in attendance. The funds for the renovation of the building were raised in a Capital Fund Drive – which yielded a phenomenal $175,0000 and was led by Center Board members, Burr Robinson and John Stith.

Jean Kearns became the second Executive Director in 1986, followed in 1989 by Deb Cyprych – who remained in that position until the end of 2018. During this time, the Center continued to flourish, providing essential services, and growing in membership.

Shelley Goering became the fourth Executive Director in November 2018 as The Center celebrated its 45 anniversary and looked to transition itself to meet the new and changing needs of older adults. Transportation, meals, wellness programs and social services remained the core focus of the organization.

Following a comprehensive strategic planning process, the organization rebranded to 55 North in 2020 to be more inclusive and welcoming to all older adults and to bring programs into the neighborhoods served. With the changing needs of seniors, the constraints of the pandemic and a building lease soon to expire, it was time to make a bold move.

On October 1, 2020, the agency moved its administrative offices to 3975 Erie Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208. Looking toward the future, 55 North works to create community partnerships and collaborations for innovative programming and to better serve the new and emerging needs of older adults and their caregivers throughout a broader geographic service area.

Thank You For Your Support