"Nobody puts flowers on their porches"
Jubilee Park & Community Center was founded in 1997 with partners that included AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Greater Dallas Community of Churches, and Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. The first Jubilee staff members canvassed the neighborhood and learned that families and children had no place to safely congregate. And so the concept for Jubilee Park & Community Center was born. Today, the Walt Humann – T. Boone Pickens Community Center serves as a hub for a wide range of educational, recreational, and community improvement initiatives.
With the participation of residents and our many partners, the neighborhood has made significant progress, including:
Learn more about what we do.
- A 60% drop in crime since 2007.
- The turnaround of the once low-performing local public school, O.M. Roberts Elementary.
- The establishment of “cradle to grave” education services, including early childhood (ages 0-5), after-school and summer enrichment programming (K-12), and adult education classes (GED, ESL, and computer literacy).
- The renovation and retrofitting of multiple homes on Congo Street and the construction of 24 affordable senior housing units.
- An emphasis on health and wellness, including healthy meals in the after-school program, community-led exercise classes, and a community garden.
Read how Jubilee has helped one community member.
I would like to let you know my story about how I stumbled upon Jubilee. My daughter goes to O.M. Roberts and one day they sent home information about Jubilee, they were letting parents know about the Angel Project and that volunteer hours were going to be needed in order to be able to participate. I asked for information and was contacted by Gisele Gomes. She let me know about the programs that were available and I began attending the English classes on February 17, 2010.
Two weeks later my 7-year-old daughter began coming to the afterschool program and that is when I met Martha Ruiz and began talking to her. Just from our first conversation, I knew I could trust her and I began telling her about my children and what we were going through. We were going through some very rough times and I was sad because my husband could not be with us. I was grateful though that my brother was letting us stay at his home. Martha lifted my spirit by telling me that everything was going to be okay and encouraged me to come to the classes. I began coming more and started learning from her about how to handle a kitchen and she began giving me tips about cooking and how to care for my children; that made me feel really good. When I talk to Martha, she is able to lift my spirit. She always tells me that I should have come sooner to Jubilee but I believe that I came just at the perfect time when I was most in need and needed a friend.
I confess that at first my motivation was being able to get the toys because I couldn’t provide them to my children. However, being at Jubilee now makes me feel very useful. Since June, I have served over 400 volunteer hours working in the Jubilee kitchen and anywhere else I can help. I prepare meals for over 180 children and really enjoy knowing that I can make a difference. Even though my problems still exist, I now feel more at ease because I see that my children are happy. My daughter loves to come to the center; she does not like to miss a day. Even my son came to volunteer during the summer program and helped pass out lunches. I am very grateful for all the help that Jubilee gives me and in turn I try to do what I can to help give back to the place that has helped me.
I also feel very comfortable with Lili, when we talk during her lunch hour I have learned a lot of new things and good practices that I have been able to use on my teenage son and daughter. I have noticed that Carrie and Rachel have taken kindly to my daughter and as a mother that is very important to me. Eddie has also been very kind to me. That is why we feel at home at Jubilee, whenever I tell my sister about the center she laments that there is no place like Jubilee where she lives. She asked if I could bring her son and I have brought him to the Saturday tutoring. He likes it so much that he tries to come every Saturday he can.
I want to continue coming to Jubilee for many more years and to continue to help in where I can. Once again I thank Jubilee for everything they have done for me and even when I no longer am able to come I will always know that Jubilee helped me in the moment that was the darkest in our lives.