Jubilee Park & Community Center (Jubilee) was founded in 1997 through collaboration between St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps. Jubilee is a catalyst for comprehensive community revitalization and enrichment in the southeast Dallas surrounding neighborhood, with emphasis on the education of children and adults. Jubilee’s purpose is to improve lives and strengthen community. Jubilee takes a comprehensive approach to revitalization through education, health, safety, economic development and housing. The neighborhood is a 62 block neighborhood bounded by I-30, East Grand and Fair Park. The majority of families are working poor, with 46% living below the federal poverty level.
Annually, 14 staff members and more than 800 volunteers provide services and education to over 1,100 individuals in Jubilee Park and the surrounding area. Jubilee operates a multi-facility campus which includes the Walt Humann – T. Boone Pickens Community Center, a resource center, two Head Start schools, a senior housing complex and a three acre park.
Education: The foundation for all of Jubilee’s work is education. The Children’s Education Initiative takes a holistic approach to educating children in the community, including Head Start (ages 3-5) and Early Head Start (ages newborn – 3) programs located on the Jubilee campus, an after school program for Kindergarten through 8th grade, summer programs, and weekend activities including tutoring. Jubilee also provides adult education including classes in English as a Second Language and computer literacy.
Public Health: Jubilee combines healthy meals, nutrition education and exercise initiatives aimed at improving nutrition and wellness for all area residents. The Jubilee Park area is designated as a “food desert” with no grocery store located within the neighborhood. Healthy meals are provided to children in the afterschool program each day and healthy snacks are provided for the weekend. Jubilee also works in collaboration with the North Texas Food Bank to provide twice weekly meals to low income seniors. Exercise classes are offered four days per week for adults and Jubilee’s youth athletics program addresses the issue of childhood obesity among resident children.
Public Safety: The resource center, located within the Jubilee campus, acts as a substation for Dallas Police Department, houses a community prosecutor from the District Attorney’s office and a code enforcement officer. Jubilee also coordinates with the Volunteers in Patrol program through the police department to engage community members in crime prevention. As a result of these efforts, Jubilee Park has seen a 64% drop in the crime rate since 2007.
Housing: Jubilee serves as an advocate for residents and a facilitator of community-led initiatives for home improvement. This has included collaborating with community members, corporations and other nonprofit partners to build new homes as well as make repair to numerous existing homes. Jubilee worked with the City of Dallas to build new affordable housing for neighborhood seniors in 24 apartment-style residences. By the end of 2016, 28 affordable homes for families will be built in the neighborhood.
Economic Development: Recently, Jubilee created an economic development task force with the goal of generating jobs, helping to retain existing jobs and stimulating commercial development within the Jubilee Park area. Task force members work with the community, the City of Dallas and business leaders to encourage sustainable economic growth.