Grant awarded to West End Center of Roanoke VA
The Foundation is happy to again support the West End Center. This grant will support their Capital Campaign.
West End Center is, and has been for nearly 40 years, a key service provider that promotes success for disadvantaged children. With appropriate support, disadvantaged children will graduate from high school, obtain job skills or graduate from college, and become contributing members of their community who live fulfilling and self-directed lives.
West End Center enrolls approximately 150 school-aged children each year (grades K-12). Over 75% of the children live in poverty, and 75% live in single parent households. The average income of the families hovers around $20,000. Over 95% receive some form of public assistance. 87% are black, 6% biracial, 3% Hispanic, and 45 white. Over 21% have an identified special need for which they are receiving medical or educational services. Largely, the children served by West End Center are living in intergenerational poverty that will continue to self perpetuate without support from the community to help them achieve a more positive future. Specifically, their program seeks to improve academic skills by providing STEM education, reading classes, and tutoring; to develop social skills and leadership skills using the evidence-based program, Peacebuilders, and to promote wellness through nutrition education and a variety of physical activities.
West End Center moved to its location at 1226 Patterson Avenue in 1992. Nothing more than routine maintenance has been undertaken in the intervening twenty-five years. The Center’s space has always been simple and spare, and it has endured hard use by thousands of children. The facility needs updating with the kitchen and restroom facilities in most in need of renovation and are, in fact, on the verge of being unusable. Inspectors from the fire department, the health department, and child care licensing have all encouraged renovation, and the fear is that at some point, the facilities will not meet the standards of the inspections.
West End Center’s mission and its goals align with the foundation’s goals of providing education and skills training to children to break the cycle of poverty. They have been doing that for nearly forty years, but in order to keep providing such a valuable program, they will need funding to bring their facilities up to par.