Sunday, October 02, 2005

Some Metropolitan Action Commission Functions To Move Out Of The North End

There have been various rumors buzzing around Salemtown about the old Fehr Elementary School building, which currently houses the North Head Start Center as well as the administrative offices and the Community Programs Services of the Metropolitan Action Commission. Rumors I've heard included:
  • the property had been sold off and was going to be torn down
  • the Action Commission was moving, but the building had been sold to private developers
  • nothing was going to happen.
By way of introduction, the Metropolitan Action Commission was formed in 1964 as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society designed to wage what LBJ called an "unconditional war on poverty." Head Start is a program that provides pre-school education to children 3-5 years old who come from impoverished families. The Action Commission's Community Programs Services also provides summer meal programs for low-income children, home energy assistance for low-income families, and they administer a community service block grant that funds short-term emergency assistance, emergency residential repairs, residential deposit payments for homeless persons, and GED classroom instruction. The old Fehr Elementary School building was built in 1924, but I have not yet been able to track down other historical details on it.

I called MAC Executive Director Cynthia Croom to get the low down and put the rumors about the building to rest. She tells me that next year MAC administrative offices and the Community Programs Division will be re-locating to the Howard Office Building on the south side of Downtown. The North Head Start Center will remain where it is at the old school building in Salemtown.

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