John Little Mission (Louisville, KY)
The John Little Mission was one of the first community centers in the United States for African Americans. It was founded in 1897 when students at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary [now Louisville Seminary] started offering services to African Americans in the Smoketown neighborhood in Louisville, KY: Sunday School, worship services, domestic arts classes for women, and trades classes for men.
John Little, a white man from Alabama, was one of the founders of the seminary. In 1904 he began supervising the mission and added another site and more services, including vocational training.
For more see R. E. Luker, "Missions, institutional churches, and settlement houses: the Black experience, 1885-1910," Journal of Negro History, vol. 69, issue 3/4 (Summer-Autumn, 1984), pp. 101-113 (The notes at the end of the Luker article contain a list of additional sources); and Sanders, Robert Stuart, History of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1853-1953. [Louisville, Ky.]: Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1953.