Phyllis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC) is one of the oldest community nonprofit organizations in the state of Minnesota, opening its doors in 1924 as a settlement house. PWCC was the only place for African Americans to stay when they arrived in Minnesota. It was also the first agency in the Twin Cities dedicated to meeting the human service needs of a growing African American community. Throughout the agency’s history, it has reinvented itself to respond to the changing needs and conditions in the community. The current programming consists of the Mary T. Wellcome Child Development Center as well as youth and adult programming.
Today, the center operates from a location that was acquired from the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board in 2012 and that was built in 1969. The vast amount of disrepair that plagues the building at 1301 10th Avenue North is a burden and hampers the day-to-day programming. The air conditioner constantly breaks down and can no longer be repaired. Our staff and clients have endured many days of weather that have been above 90 degrees with no air conditioning. The windows cannot be opened, and even if they could, there are no screens. During the cold weather months, the building is not retaining heat, and the windows frost over. There are broken light fixtures throughout the building, and several of the offices have no lighting at all. The ceiling is crumbling in some places, and tiles are missing. Some of the flooring is lifting, making some areas a hazard for walking.
Our new executive director, Suzanne Fuller Burks, started on June 1, 2020, and she believes that our staff and the families we serve deserve better. We need your help! Our goal is to raise $225,000 to replace the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system (6 rooftop units at up to $30,000 each and $45,000 for engineering and architectural plans to ensure proper installation). It is critical to receive support at this time because it has been an unusually hot summer in Minnesota, and the added complication of adjusting to the pandemic has made operations beyond difficult. We also want to be prepared far enough in advance of the cold weather months.
We are truly grateful for any support you, as an individual, group or organization can provide us, and any amount great or small will push us towards our goal. If you have any questions or need more information about the needed repairs, please contact Menia Buckner at email@example.com or 612-977-3256.