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A Third Place Moving and Morphing News

A Third Place: We Are Moving and Morphing

The Good News: We have been able to buy this past month a historic large building in our community at 5920 N. Owasso Ave.(behind the tag agency on Peoria) that has been abandoned and rundown. Like our community it needs renewing and using and to become a beacon again for growing a healthy neighborhood. We are excited to be able to do this, putting funds into our own assets and community, thanks to the support of many residents and to a $5,000 grant from the Zarrow Foundation. Your support is greatly appreciated and we need it now more than ever.

What We Will Become: We will keep many of our community projects that we have begun here the past four years, and the new space will enable us to expand them. But we will also use this time to dream of new projects and partnerships and make them a reality in our own space to keep serving more needs and more people in our unique community that is a mix of urban, rural, small town and multi-ethnic. Our current plans are still forming but we will focus on one part of the new building as a Community Health Hub with health library, videos, classes, equipment, presentations, and creating community health workers. Another part will eventually house an expanded food justice center and pantry, sustainable center, library, computer center, giveaway area, tool lending library, art gallery, gathering spaces for all ages, kitchen and more. Another part will have a Community Chapel for prayer and meditation and meetings. One of the first things we will do is create a welcoming community yard outside.

The New Name: A Third Place Community Foundation will continue to be the organization that coordinates all of our projects, whether they are in the new center, or up at the new Garden Kitchen Park we also bought a few month ago and are transforming at 60th and N. Johnstown, or projects out in the communities in various places. That will not change. But to tie all of these together the Foundation will be operating at the new building as The Welcome Table Center in line with the hilltop The Welcome Table GardenKitchen Park.

The Move and Transition: Unfortunately we can’t afford to keep renting our current space while expanding into the new space and doing the remodeling and repair necessary there. So we will have to temporarily close down most of what we do now by the end of January, 2011, while we get ready to relaunch and have a grand opening of the new space. We plan to keep the Food Pantry going on a regular basis, new day and time to be announced, and will have some space for meetings in the chapel area, and offices we rent to will be set up on an ongoing basis, beginning by using the chapel space. We are talking with the OU Clinic folks but they had planned to close down our clinic this summer anyway as they did their other northside clinics last summer while working with us to set up the new community health worker network of care in our new Health Hub. We also will have some special events in the new building while repair is underway, such as the Community Art Day on Friday, March 25. Stay tuned for others. Check our sign out front of the new building or on Peoria once we get moved.

Come Join our Volunteer Appreciation and Farewell to the Space Dinner tentatively set for Friday, Jan. 14, 6 pm. Help at our Moving Sale on Sat. Jan. 15, 10 am to 2 pm. Walk with us in the Martin Luther King candlelight march Sunday Jan. 16 and in the MLK Parade Monday Jan. 17. Come help us pack and move our contents into storage in the new building. We will work on Tuesday evenings and at other times during the day as you are available. Any personal items will need to be moved out and all keys turned in by the end of the month. Stay tuned for volunteer days as we set about repair and remodeling the new building.

We regret the inconveniences of the transition, and we don’t know for sure when we will begin reopening to the public, though it will most likely be in phases in the Spring and Summer. But know our time closed during the cool winter months will allow us to build up the funds needed to relaunch in a newer bigger way in the future. We hope you will also be excited to see this building come back to life in and for our community. The building sets on the property where the first church in Turley was founded in 1909 by the Community Methodist Episcopal church which built a wooden church first on the spot, then in the mid 1920s raised the current building, adding on to it wings in 1940 and 1952. In the mid 1960s it became the Witt Memorial Indian Methodist Church, and later became Zion Baptist Fellowship. We are proud to build on this multi cultural multi ethnic history in the building as it becomes the new Welcome Table Center for far northside Tulsa regions helping us fulfill our mission of renewing community, empowering residents, growing healthy neighborhoods and lives, all through small acts of justice done with great love.

If you have questions see or call Executive Director Rev. Ron Robinson 691-3223. And keep in touch through this site. We also hope to launch a new website soon but will continue this one as well.