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Emmanuel Family Life Center builds community

Since a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 12 opening Emmanuel Family Life Center, nonprofits and community services have been moving into offices.

Imani Greene
Imani Greene cuts ribbon to open Emmanuel Family Life Center

“This is a place for anyone to come to find access to resources that will help build our community in the Liberty Park and East Central neighborhoods,” said Spencer Grainger, executive director of the community center at 631 S. Richard Allen Ct.

The building is beside Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and part of the Richard Allen Enterprises campus of apartments, a day care, Interfaith Hospitality and other programs.

The Fig Tree is among the agencies that have moved in, along with the South Perry Learning Center, Community Colleges of Spokane-Running Start, Goodwill Mentoring Children of Promise, Act Six and the Inland Northwest Community Services.

Two offices are still available for lease.  Members of the community can also rent facilities—the recreation center, activity center or multipurpose room—for events, said Elisha Mitchell, program manager.

The center recently gathered South Perry service providers and businesses to help the neighbors, who tend to be busy running their operations, meet to build relationships and community.

“We intend to be a hub for connecting people for community development,” she said.  “There are 40 businesses and organizations within a mile of the center.”

Space built for the day care, which will stay in the lower level of the church, will be used as an activity center—a location for a teen after-school drop in center, martial arts classes, fitness and conditioning classes, health screening and other programs run by neighborhood volunteers.

Center staff and neighborhood volunteers are producing the “South Perry Neighborhood News” to raise awareness of community resources and events.

The Emmanuel Center is owned and operated by Richard Allen Enterprises (RAE), a volunteer board that includes representatives from the neighborhood, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Spokane community.

Since RAE formed in 1996, it has developed programs to promote self-sufficiency. 

In 2002, it envisioned the facility for educational, social and economic development programs.  The 4,000-square-foot center was completed in 2009.

The center is sponsoring an Earth Day South Perry Spring Pickup Day from 2 to 4 p.m., Thursday, April 22.  Participants will meet at the center, walk through the neighborhood to pick up debris and bring it back to the center for disposal.

For information, call 443-4884.