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Emmanuel Center plans open house on Oct. 17

The Emmanuel Family Life Center, which will house education programs and outreach services to move people toward self-sufficiency, will hold an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, at 645 S. Richard Allen Court.

There will be hors d’oeuvres, tours of the $1.7 million facility and opportunities to learn how to share in supporting the center and its outreach to East Central Spokane and the wider community.

Emmanuel Center
The Rev. Lonnie Mitchell stands by the future Fig Tree office.

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church established Richard Allen Enterprises, which has developed the 17,000-square-foot building in conjunction with other programs on the church’s property.

In mid September, the Rev. Lonnie Mitchell, pastor, said that $72,000 remains to pay off the mortgage so the nonprofit and education tenants will need pay for only maintenance and utilities.

Richard Allen Enterprises, a nonprofit, seeks small and major donors to help finish a room, to furnish a room or just to add overall contributions to help complete construction.

Organizers have patiently persisted since 2005, pulling together state, federal, foundation and private funds to offer services “to those most in need in this community,” Lonnie said.

Individuals have also donated more than $200,000 in volunteer labor.

The facility will offer a multipurpose room and gym, a kitchen, computer labs, homework rooms, classrooms, nonprofit offices and a conference room.

Handprints of preschool children in new sidewalk.

Programs to be housed include Community Colleges of Spokane, ActSix Leadership and Scholarship Initiative, a Housing and Urban Development After-School Program and Computer Center, the Richard Allen Enterprises Day Care, Bethel’s Senior Center, Health Screening by The Links, Inc., and The Fig Tree.

Those agencies will provide housing, education, social services, adult education, English as a second language and a GED program.  Programs are tentatively scheduled to move in by Nov. 1.

The Fig Tree seeks donations to furnish and equip its office, which will make possible expansion of its media outreach.  The Fig Tree also has an office at Unity House at 709 E. DeSmet at Gonzaga University, where staff work with service learning students in a public relations class, offer presentations in classes and participate on the board of the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

The new office will provide The Fig Tree room for expansion, so it can add staff to expand the website, circulation, programs for congregations, displays, the directory, and its model of peace and justice journalism in print and on the web.

For information, call 443-4884.