DouglasscommunityThe special collection on Sunday, April 13 will be for the Douglass Community Center. This Kalamazoo institution has been serving the North Side community for ninety five years! First established as a social club for returning Afro-American WWI troops, it has now become a busy center which provides many vital services for the entire community.

Various ongoing programs at the Center offer psychiatric and medical services to those in need, guidance for young parents in caring for and raising children…. and a variety of programs directed toward the young which deal with specific issues such as substance abuse prevention, character building, literacy and community service. Once a month, the Center coordinates with Loaves and Fishes and The Food Bank to provide a food distribution to 400 individuals. At least 100 people a day come through for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the summer, many young people contribute to the Community Garden which provides fresh produce for the Douglass Farmers’ Market.

Besides housing its own services, The Douglass Community Center provides a valuable meeting place for numerous community programs. The most important are The Boys and Girls Clubs, The Powell Public Library, Lift Up Through Literacy, Mothers of Hope, ERAC/CE (Eliminating Racism and Claiming/Celebrating Equality), NAACP, Kalamazoo Parks & Recreation Summer Camp, USDA Breakfast and Lunch Program (serving 500 children a week in the summer) and the GFM Counseling Center. Space is always available for other local meetings and events.

The Douglass Community Center is an active, important place. Its programs and services provide help for those who need it. Its building is often a refuge for at risk families and children.

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