Community Action, Inc. of Rock & Walworth Counties has finalized its purchase of the Merrill Community Center at 1428 Wisconsin Avenue, Beloit.
“We have worked closely with the Center’s board of directors to ensure a smooth transition,” says Cecilia Dever, Community Action Executive Director. “Through hard work and commitment to maintain services in the Merrill neighborhood, Community Action became the owners of the facility on July 28.”
Maintaining services in the community is made possible in part due to grant funding from United Way Blackhawk Region. The funding was originally designated for the Merrill Community Center before the facility closed its doors in November. Community Action also plans to pursue Community Development Block Grant funding for the facility.
“Before the Center closed, it served youth in an after-school program and provided services to seniors in the Merrill neighborhood,” Dever says. “We intend to provide similar services in collaboration with other agencies.” Dever estimates serving 40 school-age youth and 25 seniors at the facility.
Community Action’s PREP (Personal Responsibility and Education Program) and NRSA (Neighborhood Revitalization and Stabilization Areas) program staff will also be based in the Center.
Community Action will be completing minor maintenance projects throughout the Center during the month of August, with a goal of reopening at the start of the school year.
Staff members are planning a public input session and a neighborhood open house once the facility reopens.
About Community Action
Community Action is a 100% local, not-for-profit organization, operating a broad spectrum of community programs aimed at preventing and reducing local poverty in Rock and Walworth counties. It operates the Fresh Start program, offers child care, at-risk youth programming, health care, affordable housing units, home weatherization, assistance in dealing with a housing crisis, food for area pantries, and shelter for the homeless.