Community Foundation announces Leadership Grant of $60,000 to build Teen & Community Center at Oakridge Neighborhood Services

Jan. 7, 2011 null

Oakridge Neighborhood Services construction of a 4,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Teen and Community Center will allow it to connect with more teens through on-campus programming including job training, library resources, computer stations and fitness activities. Plus, the center's environmentally-friendly and sustainable design is expected to earn LEED certification.


"We are very grateful for the longstanding and continued support the Community Foundation has demonstrated for Oakridge and the low-income families we serve," said Tim Urban, Chair of the Oakridge Housing Committee and Executive Committee member. "This particular capital contribution is critical to filling a gap in funding and completing a successful private and public fundraising campaign."

The mission of Oakridge Neighborhood Services is to provide a safe, secure neighborhood with supportive housing, programs and services which build and develop the strengths of children, adults and families working to build and sustain self-sufficiency and self-reliance.

"Our Grantmaking Committee recognized the need and opportunity for Oakridge to connect with more teens and provide extended hours," said Community Foundation Board Chair Allison Fleming. "Families and seniors will also benefit from the new space and multi-purpose room."

"We are thrilled with the Community Foundation's decision to provide a lead gift for the construction of our Teen and Community Center," said Oakridge Board Chair Mary Gottschalk. "Together with the tax-credit-funded renovation of the 300 housing units, the Oakridge Neighborhood is starting a new chapter in its 42-year history of serving in the heart of Des Moines."

The staff and volunteer leadership of Oakridge has worked to secure capital from a variety of funders including Low Income Housing Tax Credit Investors, the Iowa Finance Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and local governments to finance a $20 million transformation of the Oakridge Neighborhood to better support low-income families.

Oakridge Neighborhood and Neighborhood Services helps low-income individuals improve their lives and the lives of their children through the provision of subsidized rental housing and a wide range of programs that provide social services to help: preschool children with early learning skills, school age children succeed in the public school system, adults prepare for entering, retaining and advancing in the workplace, new immigrants assimilate into American culture, seniors living independently with dignity and finanical security. Oakridge has nearly 1,000 residents and serves 300 families and approximately 400 children ages 0-18.