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The Baker's Dozen was founded in 1944 by 13 women who were members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. They initially met socially for companionship while their husbands were away fighting in World War II. Soon their interest turned to seeking solutions to the problem of juvenile delinquency that developed during wartime. They decided to create activities for area teenagers. The programs grew quickly and the spaces they borrowed to hold them proved inadequate. In 1947 Duke Ellington headlined a benefit concert at the Watergate for the building fund. Finally in 1950 the Youth Center opened in 1509 and 1511 Fourth Street, NW, two formerly derelict buildings that were rehabilitated according to designs by architect Howard H. Mackey.

In 1962 the Baker's Dozen, Inc. Youth Center merged its programs with the Howard University's School of Social Work. In 1964 the building was presented to Howard University as a gift from Baker's Dozen. The Youth Center continued to offer youth and family activities as well as clinical practices and research until it closed in 1981. In 2001 the building reopened as the Howard University School of Social Work Family and Community Resource and Research Center.

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