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  • Kevin Elliott

50 years as non-profit

Several events are planned throughout the year by the Rochester Area Neighborhood House, 1720 S. Livernois, Rochester Hills, to celebrate the non-profit organization’s 50th anniversary. Originally formed in 1968 from a consortium of eight churches, Neighborhood House has grown to a fully incorporated organization with by-laws and board of directors that aims to help families in need and provide assistance with the goal of long-term sustainability. Events planned to celebrate the half-century milestone include a September 16, 50th Birthday Car Show and Party at the Canterbury Village, in Lake Orion. The organization also will hold its annual Scare Away Hunger Run/Walk this October at Rochester College. The history and development of Neighborhood House started with eight, $200 donations from area churches and a small office on Romeo Road in Rochester. The original goal of the 501(c)3 organization was to provide temporary assistance to families struggling with financial problems and connect them with social service agencies in Oakland County. By 1972, the organization incorporated and began developing programs with Rochester Community Schools and other agencies, providing food stamp distribution, medical equipment and volunteer transportation. However, some programs date even before the organization’s formation, such as the Clothes Closet, 44 Mill Street, Rochester, which was initially started in 1937 by Lyle “Red” Knapp, a volunteer firefighter who set out to help families in need from home fires. From its Romeo Road location, Neighborhood House was located for decades to the St. Andrew Catholic Church Campus. By the 2000s, the organization developed transportation services, financial counseling, client mentoring and expanded volunteer services. Neighborhood House has since kept its original focus but has moved from providing one-time emergency help to long-term sustainability. Following its relocation in 2016 to its larger location on Livernois, the organization has expanded programs to include computer training, positive parenting classes, financial management seminars and other services.

Business Matters for the Rochester area are reported by Kevin Elliott. Send items for consideration to Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.

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