Those in need aren't forgotten in East End boom
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The federal grant of $15 million to build a new transit center in East Liberty is good news for the neighborhood ("Grant to Boost Development in East Liberty," June 20). As Nate Cunningham of East Liberty Development Inc. notes, "The impact of what it is going to kick off in East Liberty is in the hundreds of millions of dollars."
Just two blocks from the new center, another development has been a major piece of the planning of the neighborhood. Construction has begun on Community House, a new home for East End Cooperative Ministry's programs for needy families and children, the homeless, the elderly through Meals on Wheels and those in need of supplemental food. This is itself a $15.7 million project which balances the commercial development with a social service component deemed necessary in the East Liberty planning process.
Needy families and individuals must not be forgotten in the retail and housing boom that is occurring. For more than 40 years, EECM has been the balance wheel and the conscience of a neighborhood in transition. Now that a sweeping new direction propels East Liberty to a bright future, EECM intends to continue its role to serve the many who are needy and easily forgotten. This time around, it serves through its own new future in Community House, a collective commitment of more than 11,000 congregational members from EECM's 35 East End member churches and synagogues.
As construction continues, these neighbors will watch proudly as they join in the physical renewal of the region. But they will not forget what first brought them to EECM -- "to serve first those who suffer most."
East End Cooperative Ministry
The writer is president emeritus of the Falk Foundation.
First Published July 2, 2012 12:00 am