Agape Celebrates 25 Years of Hope and Growth
Agape Community Center is a dynamic place of hope in the heart of northwest Milwaukee. Last year, Agape celebrated its 25th anniversary of serving its local community, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.
As the only comprehensive neighborhood agency in the area, Agape provided over 1,500 children, families and seniors a wide range of activities, including after-school and summer youth programs, intergenerational activities, community meals, family support services, community and technology education, and neighborhood revitalization.
For 25 years, Agape has fed people’s physical and spiritual needs. It’s in the business of breaking bread and breaking barriers. When it first opened, Agape had about 175 volunteers; it has over 1,400 today.
Ashanti Hamilton, 1st District Alderman, City of Milwaukee, said Agape has been the heart of the local community. “It’s what we call the ideal community partner. It’s a relationship builder, it’s a service provider, and it’s a meeting place. It serves so many different purposes. The community is so thankful it’s there. It’s an important part of who we are.”
Agape feeds hundreds of local residents – from children to seniors – every week, and over 23,000 annually. More than 1,400 volunteers from local churches, corporations, and civic groups prepare and serve hot, delicious meals with a smile. Additionally, the Agape kitchen provides “on the job” training for food service students, opportunities for armed service veterans, students, and young adults to fulfill community service obligations. Agape is a DPI summer lunch site as well as a commodities distribution point.
And Agape’s After-School Program/Safe Place Initiative and Summer Day Camp provided more than 100 neighborhood youth ages 7-19 with academic enrichment, positive recreational and social activities and supportive services.
Family-centered and intergenerational programs, including preventative health screen and education, parenting classes, family events and field trips, activities for older adults, single-parent support groups and special neighborhood events bring hundreds of families and neighbors together each year.
A technology center provides computer access and training. More than 200 adults and youth use the technology center each year to gain computer skills, for job-readiness programming and to apply for employment opportunities.
Agape provided over 400 holiday turkeys for income-qualified residents, provides Christmas gifts for children, and conducts an annual back-to-school supply drive. Of particular interest is a holiday CD project, “Sing for Your Supper,” involving numerous high school, university, civic, and community bands and choirs as well as Ministry Health Care employees.