East End nonprofit launching $6M expansion of anti-poverty work

East End Community Services, a nonprofit agency that helps people break the cycle of poverty and find stability, plans to renovate buildings on Xenia Avenue into new hubs to provide better services.

East End launched a capital campaign seeking to raise $6.36 million to renovate two attached warehouses adjacent to East End’s current location and turn them into The Whole Family Service Hub and update its existing building to create The Whole Family Wellness Hub.

Executive Director Jan Lepore-Jentleson said East End started campaigning in August and has raised about $3.7 million in pledges and gifts from local foundations and government entities. It’s been assured $1 million from the city of Dayton through American Rescue Plan funding ($750,000 of it will be used for the new project), $450,000 from the state’s capital budget and $500,000 from Montgomery County, she said.

ExploreCity chips in $580K to help consolidate child care centers in East Dayton

Lepore-Jentleson said the nonprofit’s current setup has worked for 25 years, but it’s outgrown the space that needs a lot of updates.

“I’ve got people sitting in hallways here,” Lepore-Jentleson said of East End’s current situation. “We don’t have the private space that we need for families, and that’s a problem.”

“We can’t go on and we can’t add partners,” Lepore-Jentleson said. “And what the community needs is access to healthcare, more work readiness training and mental health services.”

East End focuses on providing wrap-around services that promote education, financial stability, health and community. The agency served about 5,000 people in East Dayton throughout the last fiscal year.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Documents from East End say the Whole Family Service Hub will cost $5 million and will include all current services that East End provides plus a new Public Health clinic, a workforce training center by Sinclair College and the Miami Valley Career Technology Center, and family services counseling offices. It will also have family coaching rooms, senior service rooms, and a technology center.

The Whole Family Wellness Hub will cost $1.3 million and is an update on East End’s existing building, with new flooring, walls, a teaching kitchen and a better youth center.

“Neighborhood residents, including immigrant families settling in East Dayton, and East End service recipients can come together for nutrition, fitness, stress management, disease management, parenting, prevention education, financial literacy classes and community-building activities,” East End’s project materials say.

Lepore-Jentleson said the goal is also to revitalize Xenia Avenue and encourage more businesses and jobs to move into the neighborhood. She gave a presentation to the Montgomery County Commissioners this week explaining the goals, which were warmly accepted.

Explore2017 story: East End, Omega aim to build new centers to fight poverty

Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims said as the city allocated its $130 million in ARPA funds, it was important to listen to the community and address its needs. He said East End has been a reliable service provider to the area for many years and the project will help people in need.

“We have seen so much happening in East Dayton with them over the decades,” Mims said.

“I just continuously wish them the best, and as we have leaders like them, fortunately in different parts of the city that always seem to rise to the occasion and always seem to have the best interest of their community at heart and it makes it easy for us to be supportive of them and their efforts,” Mims said.

Lepore-Jentleson said she hopes construction can start on the projects sometime next year.

About the Author