An organization designed to provide Twin City-area children with anything they may need has a new home.
The agency, which has been working out of local businesses, libraries and parks, now has a new location in the basement of the Uhrichsville Nazarene Church on the corner of East 1st Street and Dawson.
Coalition Coordinator, Wendy Mann explained an official location of operation was needed to allow the coalition to provide a place for children in need to hang out, wait for mom and/or dad to get off work and just to socialize.
The Coalition’s first day of operation at the Uhrichsville Nazarene Church will be Monday, January 8th.
“We are lucky to have been given this opportunity,” explained Mann. “Pastor Michael Travis and his congregation are absolutely amazing with giving us this opportunity to keep our Coalition going for these children.”
She explained officials plan to launch an after-school program that will also include cooking classes, homework help, structured socializing, entrepreneurship information, training in leadership skills and more.
“The program would allow students to get help in a manner that is suited for them. It also allows students to interact with peers they may not [get to] associate with. It also allows students to have a safe place to go when parents are working,” said Mann.
She noted that while the Coalition hopes to one day serve children of all ages, right now their targeted age range is from 5th graders to seniors. However; she stressed that no child will be turned away.
However; Mann noted she sees this only as a temporary location as she remains hopeful the Coalition will have the opportunity to purchase their own building in the near future.
Mann has her eyes on a building next to the Claymont Library in Uhrichsville.
“Our biggest hurdle is funding,” she explained. “Of course without funding, having a building for agencies as well as a place for the kids to have fun is what’s holding us up.”
Despite the financial challenge, Mann is dedicated to doing everything she can to find and purchase or lease a building for a mission she believes in.
“Having a building will allow us to bring those children plus more to come and hang out and not feel rushed and cooped up,” she added. “It will also allow for other agencies and organizations to be more involved in the Twin City area. We have lost so many wonderful agencies that help children and having a building would allow them to come back. Having a building would also allow us to hold activities and events that are more structured and regular.”
Another obstacle the Coalition faces is transportation. How will students get to the Coalition’s location?
“We feel that this is one of the biggest factors in this whole process,” said Mann. “This is why we are wanting to have a youth center in the center of town so children can get there by foot, bus, or car.”
For more information on the Twin City Kids’ Coalition, their new location, or their efforts to purchase a permanent location, find them on Facebook.
Michaela Madison Reporting.