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Ravendale Community Center Faces Possible Closure

November 29 2012 | no comments

For nearly 30 years Toni McIlwain  has been making a difference in the Ravendale community.  McIlwain is President and CEO of Ravendale Community Incorporated.

In April, she accepted the Detroit 2020 Unify Award on behalf of the organization.

But now the Ravendale Community Center is facing a crisis—and is in real jeopardy of closing its doors.

McIlwain told us,  “We’ve done so much with so little and have turned a lot of lives around and that’s what we’re about.”

The center is an irreplaceable resource in a community ravaged by economic hardship, blight and crime.

85 percent of the people living in this 50-block area of Detroit’s east side are at or below the poverty level.

Marvell Eggleston says the center is a lifeline for his family—and the neighborhood, “It has been such a tremendous help to the neighbors and this community and saved lives, literally.  So for us to lose this organization, it would definitely be felt throughout.”

It costs $4000 a month to keep the center open. Government funding has been reduced dramatically and corporate support has dwindled as well.

According to McIlwain “If there’s no funding, not to mention overhead costs, then we cannot continue to service those individuals.”

There’s a lot at stake, including a room filled with computers that help people find work.  There’s tutoring for students and a summer youth program–as well as programs for seniors.

“This is real. If Ravendale closes, a community closes.” McIlwain says.

Terrance Harris spends most days at the center—doing odd jobs for occasional pay–and volunteering despite the hardships in his life.

“I’m living with no gas, no light, no water,” he told us.  “I get a chance to come here to get out the house to be here and utilize my time and give something back to the community.”

McIlwain is concerned, “If this center is not here, okay, I can imagine the helplessness that would go through some of the people’s heads– where do I go now?

There will be a community breakfast at the facility on December 10, 2012 from 7:30 until 8:45am.  There will be a presentation and tour of the facility and those attending will explore ways to form partnerships to keep the lights on and the rent paid.  To find out more or to reserve a spot at the meeting, call 313 527-1603.

Click here to read more about Ravendale Community Center

For information on donating, please call 313 527-1603

or you can send a check to:

Toni McIlwain

Ravendale Community Center

13903 Harper

Detroit, MI 48213

The check should be payable to: Ravendale Community, Inc.















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