Programs & Services
When most folks think of the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, images come to mind of a place where low-income and vulnerable populations receive services.
To be sure, the Center has long offered a helping hand to people in time of need. Yet, at over 15,000 visitors a year the Center is much more.
It is a place where the community conducts its business, attends a concert, learns a dance, or stays in shape & much, much more. It is a place for all people.
The AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM is a State Licensed After School Day Care for youth ages 5-12. Structured academic, social, cultural activities and a well-balanced meal are provided each day. We serve children from all income groups and in particular children from low-income and working class families. Number served in 2016: 36
The SUMMER YOUTH CAMP offers a wide range of activities for 5-12 year olds: arts & crafts, games, field trips, swimming lessons, and much more. Breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack are also included. Number served in 2016: 35. The EASTSIDE EXPRESS SUMMER CAMP is a drop-in camp for 5-12 year olds and offers comparable daily activities. In addition, the camp is structured to provide area teens with first-experience employment opportunities as camp support staff. Number served in 2015: 170. Number served in 2016: 210
Wil-Mar’s SENIOR NUTRITION AND RECREATION PROGRAM offers lunch on Mondays for 55+ seniors on a donation basis. The meals are home-made and are often accompanied by presentations from health professionals. Additionally, seniors attend wellness, fitness and dance classes offered at the Center Tuesday through Friday. Number served in 2016: 180
Wil-Mar offers a year-round group of CULTURAL AND TRADITIONAL DANCE learning opportunities for all interests including: Israeli Folk, African, Scottish, Samba, English Country and Jumptown Swing. Number served in 2016: Over 500.
A host of WELLNESS CLASSES are offered weekly for all ages and abilities to build health and well-being. Number served in 2016: Over 400.
Wil-Mar’s drop-in FAMILY PLAYGROUP is offered through-out the school year for moms, dads and guardians to have a safe and nurturing space for preschoolers. Number served in 2016: Nearly 200.
Affordable MEETING SPACE is made available to nearly twenty self-help and/or 12 step groups to promote healthy living for substance abuse individuals. Number served in 2016: Over 500
SECOND CHANCE provides opportunities for work experience and personal enhancement to individuals who may not have the background (mostly W-2 clients) or references (mostly ex-offenders) to transition into full employment. Number served in 2016: 8
Wil-Mar has long supported the EASTSIDE FARMERS’ MARKET where up to 30 small family farms and other businesses offer affordable, organic and healthy foods to customers. Number served in 2016: 1000’s
TO CELEBRATE…and serve:
Promoting a greater sense of PLACE while inspiring the value of SERVICE to others through producing unique festival celebrations is a hallmark endeavor of the Center. The following events: La Fete de Marquette, Willy Street Fair, AtwoodFest and the Orton and Waterfront Festivals annually attract well over 100,000 visitors and perhaps the best parts include: working with hundreds of volunteers to make it possible and directing event proceeds to the following services:
FOOD PANTRY: At nearly 1500 households or 4000 people served in 2016 the pantry continues its life-giving mission. In addition, a portion of festival proceeds are directed toward supporting the Goodman Community Center food pantry.
COMMUNITY MEAL: A free and nutritious meal has been served every Saturday for over 30 years and welcomes all people but mostly serves the very needy and vulnerable populations. Nearly 7000 meals were provided in 2016.
OVERSTOCK BREAD AND PRODUCE: On a daily basis the shelves of the Center’s lobby offer overstock bread and produce to anyone who needs them. At over 2000 people served in 2016 nutritious food destined for the dump instead feeds hungry people.
And finally, Wil-Mar provides low cost FACILITY USE space to a wide range of performing, cultural and private groups on a space available basis. At over 100 groups and/or individuals using the space and nearly 7000 people, Wil-Mar is a vital and bustling Center!