Welcome to

The Depot


The Depot Youth Center is a critical town asset sitting at the center of our community providing relevant, age-specific and vital resources for the youth in Darien.


Supporting the well-being of our youth by giving them opportunities to connect, grow and give back. 


Counselor Drop In Hours at The Depot


 Support Groups for Parents Worried about their Kids’ Mental Health Will Begin October 13

October 3, 2022– Darien CT– The Depot Youth Center of Darien today announced a partnership with the SWCT Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to roll out much-needed support groups for parents concerned about the mental health of their middle schoolers and high schoolers.  The first group will take place on Thursday, October 13 from 10:30 a.m.- noon  at The Depot Youth Center, 25 Heights Rd., Darien, CT.  The group will run on the second Thursday of each month beginning Thursday, Oct. 13 from 10:30 a.m.- noon. It will be moderated by trained facilitators from the NAMI-CAN (Children and Adolescent Network). Pre-registration is not required for attendance.

“Anxiety, depression, and acute academic and social pressures are just some of the issues our kids are grappling with now more than ever,” said Evan Pagano, NAMI board member for Southwest Connecticut. “We are happy to be able to support Darien parents through our partnership with The Depot and believe that stronger, more informed parents make for stronger, more resilient kids.”

In addition, The Depot announced the formation of the Depot Mental Health Advisory Committee (DMHAC), comprised of key local mental health professionals and members of the Darien Depot team who care deeply about the mental health crisis our kids and families are facing. 

The Depot’s Mental Health Advisory Committee or DMHAC, includes:


  • Kristie Calvillo, LCSW, of The Behavior Therapy Group (DBT)
  • Amanda Craig, PhD, LMFT and author of “Who Are You & What Have You Done With My Kid?”
  • Mary Flynn, CEO of the Rowan Center
  • Susannah Lewis, MPH, Director of Community Relations, Silver Hill Hospital
  • Becky Lois, PhD, Director of Ambulatory Integrated Behavioral Health, NYU Langone
  • Luke Robbins, LCSW, COO, The Rowan Center
  • Andrea Callagy, Depot Board member and parent
  • Laura Downing, Executive Director of the Darien Depot
  • April Jackson, Assoc. Director of Programming for the Darien Depot
  • Michelle Robertson, Darien Depot Board President and parent

“For more than 30 years, The Depot has strived to create the healthiest environment for our kids through programs and activities that build social and emotional well-being.  Being able to provide a resource for parents who are impacted by the youth mental health crisis adds an important layer to this mission.  The formation of the DMHAC solidifies the foundation of support for our kids by helping to ensure we have a plan of action in the event we see or hear of mental health needs during our services and activities or require referrals to community resources,” said Laura Downing, Executive Director of the Darien Depot.


NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.  What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an alliance of more than 600 local affiliates who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need. NAMI works to educate, support, advocate, listen and lead to improve the lives of people with mental illness and their loved ones.

FALL 2022-23 Program Registration is OPEN

WATCH The Depot Youth Center Video

Youth Served

Teens Attended Educational Programming

Teens in Youth Empowerment Clubs

Youth Drop into The Depot for a Safe Place to Connect, Grow & Give Back

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions?  We’ve got answers! Learn more about The Depot Youth Center.


What are the Depot’s hours of operation?

The Depot has programs running Monday through Saturday, from after school through late evening. Drop-ins are always welcome but please see our calendar for a schedule of events to make sure The Depot is open and available.

Who supervises the kids?

Our full time Program Director is on duty at all times and Staff Associates facilitate several programs; the Darien Police regularly visit The Depot to establish a good relationship with the students; the Darien Domestic Abuse Council mentors Respect Works; and Sgt. TJ Moore of the Darien Police Department advises the high school SADD program. Several other local agencies, and organization help facilitate programs from time to time.


Can anyone come?

All Darien (public, private, home schooled) youth are welcome age 6th-12th grade, depending on the program and activity.  Guests of Darien teens are welcome on a limited basis if accompanied by a Darien teen and sign in. At the beginning of each academic year, every child and parent are required to complete registration/permission/emergency form and pay a one-time $75 membership fee to participate at The Depot. Scholarship is available by contacting laura@dariendepot.com.


How can I make a donation to The Depot?

To make a 100% tax-deductible donation right now, please Click Here.  Noroton Heights Depot is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Darien, Connecticut. Our donors include foundations, large and small businesses, and private individuals; we also receive state, and local government dollars. Our Tax ID/ IEN # is 06-1269671.

When can I sign up for programs?

Check our website HERE, Program registration will open on June 6, 2022 for fall programing.

How old do I have to be to participate at the Depot?

All Darien (public, private, home schooled) youth are welcome, age 6th-12th grade, depending on the program and activity. See the Youth Program page on our website for detailed information.


Job Opportunities at The Depot

Part Time Assistant Program Director

T, W, Th: 2-5pm (9 hrs)
Friday: 3-9pm (6 hrs)

 The Depot Youth Center of Darien is seeking a dynamic, nurturing and creative Associate Director of Programming and Operations.  This position is part-time and would be responsible for over-seeing some of The Depot’s signature programs on weekdays after school.

 The ideal candidate is an open-minded, flexible and compassionate self-starter with an affinity for and acceptance of all children. She/ he should have outstanding interpersonal, writing and communication skills.  

 He/ she would be an important member of The Depot’s programming leadership team. Outside of his/her work with kids, this person would be willing to be nimble and assist in pitching in with daily operational needs for this small non-profit. This includes collaborating with other staff to plan programming, order supplies and possibly partake in relevant collaborative community roles.  As a small non-profit, any candidate with experience or interest in fundraising and development is a plus.  

Please contact Laura Downing to apply. 

Kind Words

What students say about us

Caitlin Feeley

Darien High School, 2019

“The Depot has always been a place I could go to instantly be a happier, less-stressed, and more confident version of myself…I can’t wait to share all the things I learned with my future friends at school and in life.”

Matthew Alvarado

Darien High School, 2018

“My personality didn’t quite align with other people’s, but that didn’t matter. The Depot itself, everything I have gone through with it, has really helped me understand that…It has made me confident in just being myself, rather than trying to fit in.”

Emily DeLeo

Darien High School, 2009

“When I was in high school my parents got divorced. It (The Depot) was a place I could go if a was upset, if I didn’t want to be at home, even if I wanted to be by myself. I thought that things that didn’t matter, mattered. And I think The Depot snapped me out of that to truly become a better person.”

Will Culliton

Darien High School, 2018

“In my four years of being part of The Depot, I have experienced tremendous growth into a leader. I started off as a shy and quiet freshman joining the SGB and SLOD and through my years of hard work and experience, I have achieved the positions of Vice President and President, respectively.”

We’d love to hear from you!

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25 Heights Road
Darien, CT 06820