Wheeler Mission to Dedicate Eastside Landmark

Wheeler Mission to Dedicate Eastside Landmark

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Facility Reopened to Serve Homeless Women and Children

CONTACT: Steve Kerr, Chief Development Officer

WHEN:    Friday, August 21, 2009 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  (brief program at 11:00)

WHERE:  3208 E. Michigan Street

In a continued effort to focus on their core values of serving the homeless, Wheeler Mission is re-opening their eastside facility.  The new Center for Women & Children will be a safe harbor for the fastest growing segments of the homeless population, women and children.

Built in the 1920s by the Ku Klux Klan as a social club and later sold and renamed the Dearborn Hotel, the facility at 3208 E. Michigan Street was purchased by Wheeler in 1991.  Following a complete renovation the building was opened in 1994 as a community center serving the near eastside.  In 2008 Wheeler made the difficult decision to close the facility and focus on the issues surrounding homelessness.

Faced with increased demand for services to homeless women and children and a worn out facility, Wheeler’s Board of Directors decided to relocate from the old Care Center on Rural Street to the now vacant building.

Renamed Wheeler Mission’s Center for Women & Children (ampersand intentional) the building is being dedicated to the service of homeless women and children.

“Today’s dedication of this facility is a result of many, many prayers and two attempts to relocate.  The women and children Wheeler serves deserve a clean, safe place where they can find the help they need – this building will accomplish just that.” said Rick Alvis, President/CEO of Wheeler Mission.

Wheeler’s Chairman of the Board, Rob Wingerter recalls back in 1994 when the building was opened; “We spoke about original builders of this building, the KKK, and that what was once used as a gathering place for hatred and bigotry we were dedicating for use for the glory of God and service to all people.  The same holds true today, we are rededicating this building to the glory of God and service to all people.”

Photo/Interview Opportunities:

  • Mayor Ballard (11:00 a.m.)
  • Paulette Moore, Center for Women & Children Director
  • Rick Alvis, President/CEO
  • Rob Wingerter, Chairman of the Board
  • Lisa Cummings, CWC client