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|Multi-Purpose Center and Communication Garner Discussion at People in Galesburg Meeting
|Creating better public awareness of existing community service organizations and a proposed facility that would provide a wide array of services to local youth and many other groups emerged as the key topics at the fourth People in Galesburg Town Hall Meeting.
The group, which invites everyone, began meeting in July. People are urged to voice their concerns and opinions on issues that they consider important. Attendees at the meetings ultimately vote on two key issues to discuss at length. Sixteen people attended Tuesday night's meeting, including two city officials -- Mayor Sal Garza and Alderman Wayne Allen.
The two issues that got the most votes for more in-depth discussion were communication between organizations -- specifically how that can be improved, avoiding redundancy of services and making the public more aware of them -- and the possible creation of a "Dream Center." The latter was initially brought up by Dale Jacobs, who says there is such a facility in Peoria that's housed in a seven-story former YMCA building.
Jacobs says while members of 10 churches and officials at the Salvation Army are among the people behind the effort in Galesburg, organizers don't want to associate a church label with the proposed center. Jacobs says the "Dream Center" would serve as a place with many resources.
"We've got people that are gifted in all walks of life in all the churches," Jacobs said. "Whatever their gift and their calling is, that's what we want them to get involved in. We've got one young lady that's at (Carl Sandburg College), and she would love to tutor young children that don't get the education they need. Sports, (we'd) want to do sports and activities to get kids involved."
Jacobs says the people involved with establishing a "Dream Center" in Galesburg eventually want to find a building. He says the children would be in a safe place and receiving mentoring from adults. Services for older adults, Jacobs says, would include drug and alcohol counseling, a shelter, help with employment and warm meals.
Garza says the Central Congregational Church in the city's downtown could become vacated in less than two years and the city will have to do something with the building. The mayor suggested a possible partnership for the facility, which he says will need some expensive repairs.
A small group attends the fourth People in Galesburg Meeting Tuesday night at the Galesburg Public Library
(WGIL News Story and Photo by Mike Perry)
|12 16 09 by Newsroom
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