On April 30, Waite House Neighborhood Center, part of Pillsbury United Communities, opened the doors to their new home inside the Phillips Community Center (2323 11th Avenue South), just two blocks from their old location. The nonprofit organization, which has been providing the Phillips neighborhood with human services and community building activities since 1969 is expanding outreach by joining a co-op of new partners, including Minneapolis Parks & Recreation, A Partnership of Diabetics (A-POD), Running Wolf Fitness Center, Somali American Community and Ventura Village Neighborhood Association.
With the new partnerships, Waite House can expand its already impressive list of services and activities. Minneapolis Parks & Recreation will run a teen center and daily programming for youth. A-POD will provide self-help and advocacy for neighborhood residents with diabetes. The Running Wolf will provide their fitness center and partner with Waite for health programming. The Somali American Community will provide after-school tutoring and soccer programs, and Ventura Village Neighborhood Association will work as a neighborhood information hub, disseminating information that affects the community.
Besides the partnerships, the move is saving money, says Francisco Segovia, director of Waite House.
“For instance, the furnace in the other building, … at least once a month, we had to call for a repairman because often times we had heating issues or air conditioning issues,” said Segovia, “and that drains a lot of resources.”
They’re also saving in rent, which they no longer pay at the new building because of a deal with Minneapolis Parks & Recreation, which owns the building, says Segovia. In exchange for not paying rent, they are responsible for paying utilities and maintaining the building — and maintenance is the name of the game at this point in their move.
“We moved last week but we still have a lot of details we’re working out and so many things required to make this building functional,” said Segovia. “So we are finding as we go little things, from not having hot water, to a door that is not handicap accessible. One room doesn’t have electricity. So little things that are key to go back to what we call normal.”
When everything is finished the new facilities will include a computer lab, a community cafe and maybe even a pool.
The new location is at 2323 11th Avenue South and their hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.