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News and Events at the Community Center and Community GardenPark and Orchard

 Community Center 5920 N. Owasso Ave & GardenPark: 6005 N. Johnstown Ave.

Third Place Foundation for more information 9186913223

Free Cornerstore Pantry and Community GardenPark Food Programs:
Volunteer Tuesdays 10 am to Noon at the Center & Cornerstore; 

Volunteer Saturdays 9 am at the Garden Park

Come enjoy a special Garden Day Sat. April 13, 10 am to 2 pm, at the GardenPark and Orchard: get your own garden bed, free seeds and water, and help with planting.  Free lunch and party. 

Cornerstore Free Pantry Weds. 12-4 pm, serving 74126, 74130, 74073 zips.

 Cornerstore Free Pantry First Sat. April 6, 11 am to 1 pm at the Center, or by appointment. 

Volunteer for next Food Bank Mobile Van Food Giveaway Day, Fri. May 3, 9 am to Noon.

SNAP food assistance card Outreach Center, Weds. Noon to 2 pm, 

Free OSU Nutrition Advisor and Class, Weds. 12:30 pm; 

Free Clothing Room Wednesdays Noon to 4 pm. Grand Opening this Wednesday, April 3. 

Turley and Far Northside Free Legal Aid. Call Atty. Sara Cherry 918-295-9461 appts.

Other Projects and Events at The Welcome Table Community Center

The OU Turley Area Project Working with Our Residents Wed. Apr. 17, 1:30 to 4 pm and Monday, April 1 and Apr 22,  5:30 to 8 pm. Meals included. All Welcome.

Turley Area Alliance Against Crime, neighborhood watch, Thur. Apr 25, 6:30 pm.

Free For All Ages Community Art Day, Sat. March 30, 10 am to 4 pm

Turley Area Partner Planning Meeting Thurs. April 4, 3:30 pm, 

Senior (60+) Center Planning Meeting, Monday April 8, 2 pm. All Welcome & Needed. 

Recovery 12 step groups. Saturdays, 6 pm and 7:30 pm

Other Events and Projects In the Community

Pancake Breakfast, Sat. April 13, Lodge Hall, 6227 N. Quincy Ave., $5 all you care to eat

Community Free Health Fair Fun Day, Sat. April 20, Wellness Center, 56th St. and MLK Blvd (old Cincinnati Ave.)

Turley Public Town Hall, Tuesday, April 30 7 pm O’Brien Center, 6147 N. Birmingham Ave.
Northside Street Cred Community Makeover Event, Sat. May 11, 36th and Peoria. Experience transformation vision, by Tulsa Young Professionals

 Turley Water Board Public Meeting, Last Working Day of Month, 8:30 am, 6108 N      Peoria Ave. Turley Fire Dept. Meetings  Thursdays, 7 PM, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria.


Spring Board Meeting Agenda and Updates

A glimpse into our all volunteer, four year old group, and I know I am leaving something out :). Tonight's agenda for the quarterly board meeting for A Third Place Community Foundation, here at our Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. From 1:30 to 4 pm today we will be working with our partners here from the OU Graduate Social Work Dept in their service-learning. From noon to 4 pm will be our weekly Food Community Day embodying the Maundy Thursday Mandate to love one another as I have loved you...
6 pm at the Community Center, Wed. March 27

Dinner and Meeting

1. Call to Order

2. Any Minutes of Winter Meeting/Party? Not sure we took any? So Sharing Highlights of What All Has Happened so far in 2013

3a. Financial Update
3b. Craigslist items and next steps for selling donated items to raise funds and clearing south room for use
3c. Set another Grants Meeting and look at deadlines in 2013, potential grantswriting partners, etc. 
3d. Proposal to Create an Emergency Aid Fund with original allotment of $1,000 designated for the Executive Director and Treasurer to allocate to local residents in special needs. (Our equivalent of a "minister's discretionary fund" for such assistance). If the Board thinks it is good to have, we can investigate the best practices and come back with policies and parameters and how to promote it to be sustainable.

4. Selection of Officers: 

5. Updates on Past Business and Discussions and Projects
---Property Purchase Options and Investigations: land to the immediate south, completing the lots on the block; Cherokee School; Land along the Prairie Trail where burned properties are located; the 34 HUD properties; McLain Village Shopping Center
---Community KitchenGardenPark:
---Cornerstore Pantry: (besides the updates on the pantry, we also on Wednesdays now have SNAP outreach center and also AA booth and representatives, along with nutritionist and others)
---Senior Citizens Center:
---Community Center: (south room, clothing room, new downstairs meeting room, art room, crafts room, bathrooms, washer/dryer, upstairs)
---Community Center outside, land, and parsonage

6. Events
---second Wednesday dinner planning and coordinating circles
---Volunteer Tulsa and the 2013 Big Event Day, Sat. April 13. Get volunteers for our park and community center projects. 
---partnership event with McLain High School and Tulsa Health Dept. Northside Wellness Event Sat. Apr. 20; booth needs staffed
---partnership event with North Star Street Cred Event with Tulsa Young professionals Sat. May 11: booth needs staffed
---partnership with Food Bank, Mobile Van here, Friday, May 3
See calendar of events attached for other meetings and partnership events ongoing, such as Art Day, OU Days, etc.
---Setting local showing and discussion of "A Place At The Table" documentary (I was a part of one such event at Circle Cinema and will be at another event at Phillips Theological Seminary I believe set on Tues. May 7). 
---Setting local showing and discussion of movie "Flight" about addictions, in partnership with recovery group(s). 

7. New Partnership Options
---GreenPark Vann Industrial Board on Economic Development Project(s)
---STAR Fellowship Program, academic research 
---North Tulsa Development Council Leadership Class Program

8 Announcements, Setting Dates for next meetings:
Others? See calendar of events for all the main events not listed above or here.
Summer Board Meeting: Wed. June 12? Fall Meeting, Wed. Sept. 18? 
I will be in the Philippines, or on the way there and back, from Sunday, April 21 to Tuesday, April 30 (if I have my international date change right)
I will be in Louisville June 17 to 24. 
The Tulsa Pride Parade with the Okla Center for Equality will be Sat. June 1 (we have in the past talked about getting a banner just for and about us geared for the two parades we are in each year; MLK and the Pride Parade, not having to use the banner outside our building; do we want to consider upgrading to this and perhaps to car float?). 
We have set Sat. Sept. 21 for our Community FunFair and Turley Heritage Day and Senior Resources Focus, launching organization of new senior center group
I will be in New Orleans Oct. 8-9 to 14-15. (invite all to come be part of service in the community work and/or as you choose worship options, with the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal, and can learn from them about their structures and experiences in hosting people and groups on community projects and partners). 

9. Adjournment

Important Community Meeting Tuesday Mar. 26 Here at the Center: Health Dept. Map on Blighted Areas in our Community, plus other updates on community projects

Don’t Miss This Opportunity!

Community Meeting Notice

Local residents and property owners are invited to attend the next monthly meeting of the…

Turley Community Association

Tuesday, March 26, at 7:00 PM.

At the Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave.

behind the tag agency


Hear a presentation by the Tulsa Health Department about a problem that concerns all of us. The Health Department has recently been engaged in a study of the abandoned, the burned and the blighted properties in our unincorporated service area. We will hear more about their efforts and see a comprehensive area map they have developed.

A  time for questions and comments after the presentation.

Also Hear Updates on County issues, on The Turley Fire Dept., on Area Law Enforcement, on The Community Center projects, The Community GardenPark and Orchard, O’Brien Park, Cherokee School, and other matters.

Refreshments Will Be Served


Community Matters....

Hi all. Today's message is about the neglected truth that "Community Matters" and underlies most everything that we struggle with in our area.
First, a note about this Sunday's missional community gathering; we are not meeting in the morning as usual (which is good since it is a Spring Forward an Hour Sunday) but will meet at the community center at 4 pm for communion and then travel to the 5 pm Taize worship service downtown at Trinity Episcopal, then out to dinner afterwards.
Tomorrow, Saturday, there is Pancake Breakfast from 8 to 10 am at the Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave., and weather permitting we have a community gardening morning at the Welcome Table park and orchard at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. and from 10 am to 4 pm, with free lunch included, we have Community Art For All Ages Day at the community center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave.
In the coming week:
two meetings having to do with supporting McLain High School; one to hear of the recommendations being considered for changes at the school (for my take on how a holistic approach that is focused on the community is the only long term solution to what has been a long term community based problem: and on Thursday a meeting of the McLain Foundation to bring on new leadership to help us raise funds for needed projects at the school, already vulnerable being affected even moreso by cut in state funding).. And on Monday we will be part of a Food Bank special showing and discussion of the new documentary A Place At The Table at the Circle Cinema (see below for more about the first public showing and panel discussion that followed, which I was honored to be on).
..on Tuesday we will have a volunteer appreciation lunch and orientation about our emerging and expanding cornerstore and food community programs...
...on Wednesday from Noon to 4 pm we will have our Food Community Day, along with nutrition class at 12:30 pm, and other resources available. We also have our free clothing and items day during this time. Our new The Welcome Table Cornerstore is in its new and larger quarters in our building, and getting rave reveiws for how we have created a grocery store feel and empower people to choose their own food items, and we are just beginning to develop this concept further and look for ways to continue expanding hours open. Thanks to the OU Tulsa Graduate Social Work classes for helping to move into our new space, and to work in other projects with us at the community center, the park, and in the community.
...on Saturday morning, March 16, we will have our Big Gardening Event beginning at 9 am, and will be hosting the Tulsa Community Gardening Association as part of it, at 10:30 am at the gardenpark and orchard. We hope to see you and friends at any or all of these events. Or call to arrange a time to visit.
Abandoned Properties Project:
In previous email updates from here I have been highlighting the increasing presence of burned and vandalized and abandoned buildings, residential and commercial, in our area which affects so much; decline is contagious in many manifestations, and is considered the number one factor promoting crime in an area. We have properties that have burned and continue to be health hazards and have been untouched for months or years without any change. I am happy to report that the Tulsa Health Department has been involved in a windshield inspection tour of almost every property in our unincorporated side of our service area, and they have identified the severity of the problem on a property by property basis, developing a map for our area residents to look over and help to come up with the priorities in how to focus abatement procedures to get the properties cleaned up (funds permitting of course which is often the rub, since the property owners will just let the properties go and let a lien be placed on them for any future owners, and in the meantime the county will have to pay to keep the properties clean). The map and presentation will be presented to area residents for questions and comments again at the Turley public meeting Tuesday March 26 at 7 pm, held this month at the Welcome Table Community Center instead of its regular location at O'Brien Park, in hopes of attracting more property owners and residents. This is a good first step, thanks to THD. We have so far prioritized the abandoned properties as: 1. those on North Peoria and along the Osage Prairie Trail; 2. Those residences that have been rundown the longest and which are located immediately adjacent to properties where there has been effort at beautifying the area. Additionally, we might consider if there are ways to get more funds into the cleanup, ways that people in the community can get ownership of the abandoned properties that just stay on the county ownership for a number of years, and ways that our own local folks could be hired to do the tear down and clean up. Thanks again though for these vital first steps, THD, which we have been seeking for some time.
Food and Health:
We have recently had volunteers receive training in how to help get more of our residents applying for the SNAP food assistance, that only has about 75 percent of the people who are elgible for it actually receiving the assistance to help combat their struggles with food insecurity, ill health, and poverty. We will have a food assistance outreach worker or volunteer helping area residents during our Wednesday Food Community Days and possibly at other times, as well as allowing our computer center to help people renew benefits online.
On Friday night, last night, we had several from our community join with those from across the Tulsa area to watch the showing of the documentary A Place At The Table about the rising epidemic of hunger and food insecurity, especially among children, in our nation, and our state has one of the worst rates of the nation, and our service area has one of the worst rates in the state. I was honored to be a part of the panel responding to questions following the showing of the film which did a great job of humanizing the issue and the people who suffer from hunger and its twin of bad health and obesity, and of the policy decisions that have caused our nation to lose the war on hunger that it once was well on the way to winning in the 1970s.
Several areas needed to be emphasized even more:
1. growing one's own food is a way to promote health and for the poor to save money (growing your own food is like printing your own money), and yet so much of the nation's resources do not go into this healthy lifestyle and ecological affirming truth, and into school programs and community nonprofit programs fostering gardens and community health, but they go into major corporate agribusinesses that grow the ingredients that are in the processed foods that cause our health problems but are the cheapest foods and most readily available ones for the poor, trapping them in a cycle of bad health and limited choices. Even the food assistance programs which do direct giving of food to those in need (such as we do) but who struggle to have that food not be just more of the same processed food, even these are being cut in funds; and even the food assistance programs which are already way too limited ($4 average a day very difficult to eat on, especially to eat healthy on), even these are being targeted for further cuts and other limitations designed to punish the poor. We need to keep addressing the issue of why we don't support local farms and local gardening initatiatives, and why it is so hard to get local folks so in need to take part of the gardening programs we do have, and to change that by starting again with the basics holistically by supporting the schools and community groups where residents are to help them shift their default mode away from the one that treats them as a consuming object and toward a default mode where they are agents of their own and their community's growing health. We need to take the long view and invest in these programs and experiments the same way we do with the other aspects of our national security.
2. Many in the audience watching the film and in the discussion afterwards were expressing their sense of hopelessness and despair, especially at the political system that is looking to gut the very community oriented and neighbor helping programs that could make a difference in the lives of so many. What I wish I had said, besides the fact that the very presence of so many in attendance at the film and discussion afterwards was hopeful, is that the real doorway to change and real hope is always first through despair, through facing the emotions of fear and hopelessness and angst and confusing and even shame; it is the very desire to avoid these emotions communally that keep us from facing the hard truths about the facts of life for many in our community. And so what people were feeling was in itself a sign of hope. The most powerful part of the film for me was the women witnessing to their own hunger and that of their families and taking that witness to seats of governmental power where decisions are being made to prop up corporations instead of people; I think they would say that despair work is part of their routine lives, and for those not in their shoes to use that despair work as a destination point instead of as a means to a very different end. We need to focus more on how to get our witnesses to join together and become advocates.
3. The film did a good job of linking hunger with poverty, and saying the real issue is not why are so many people hungry, but why are so many people poor in the first place. And I would add that the real issue is the type of poverty as well; for there is the poverty that is mitigated and dealt with by the presence of a justice seeking community and there is the kind of poverty most have now that is set in the context of no community, no extended family, no neighborhood schools or groups connecting the people in the area, no "third places" where they once thrived; we live in a much more fragmented area and that "sequestering" of one another from one another keeps us divided, especially the poor divided, from the tremendous power they would otherwise possess and use. Where there is real visible beloved community, the vulnerable are put at the first of the line for attention, not re-segregated into areas where so many of the dominant culture don't have to get to know, or see, ever. The more we focus just on food alone for example (or low test scores in school, or crime statistics (which for our area we don't any longer get access to, which is something we really need the public officials to help our residents get access to), or the rate of heart disease or diabetes, the more we will ultimately miss the mark of how we seek to turnaround the realities so many face. It is not as "sexy" or as quick to focus on growing again a viable community of connections in this disconnected age, but that is what it will take across the board to wipe out these current realities for so many. We need to keep not letting even the urgent keep us from the important. Like seeing how government is just one of the ways we manifest community, but it is a major one and so we need to put its priorities toward the poor, instead of our current rush in our state particularly to shrink government; when you do that you shrink community. We need it right alongside the other community forming entities of private business and nonprofit enterprises including but not limited to religious ones. Even for private businesses we need to emphasize that community matters, that all communities matter, and that the moral and ethical way of being in community is to have a practice of not leaving areas when they struggle, but remaining and helping to grow them back. And we need more nonprofits and more churches, etc. to not just focus on serving/saving individuals but serving/saving communities. When communities work, so do persons, and so does their health, and their families and their schools. What does it take to educate a child at McLain, or to adequately feed with healthy food that child's family in the 74126? It takes, as we know, a village. We need to keep from burning down the village. We need to make it a priority and act and fund it as one.
4. I hope we can better keep spreading such discussions as we had tonight, for there was so much left unsaid, undreamed, so much going on left unshared; and not only keep spreading discussions, but keep opening up opportunities for people to engage in their own service-learning.