Spring-Summer 2005

CDBG-supported Programs at Toledo's Murchison Center

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is one of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's oldest, administered in a variety of ways, federally, statewide, and locally. HUD CDBG funds are used primarily to “ensure decent affordable housing for all,” and more generally to “provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, create jobs and expand business opportunities.” CTCs with education and workforce development experience are eligible for this support, and The Murchison Center in Toledo is a useful model of what can be done.

The Murchison Center is a fully capable community technology center with 20 connected workstations including printing and multi-media capability. Our mission is to educate and provide community support to alleviate the problems of underemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence and to enhance the social and economic growth of the neighborhood residents in our service area. Founded by St. James Church in 1992, the Murchison Center first connected with the City to access CDBG funds in 1996, then with the University of Toledo in 1998. These key connections have allowed us to build many other partnerships and grow into a trusted institution in the neighborhood and citywide.

James Moseby at The Murchison Center

James Moseby (foreground) at The Murchison Center

CDBG funds have enabled us to develop and sustain four major programs:

  1. After school tutoring and computer classes—helping lower-income inner-city children (grades 2-12) with homework, providing math and reading tutoring, teaching computer skills.
  2. Computer classes for adults—increasing computer literacy by covering basic computer hardware, word processing, email, and Internet searches and use.
  3. First Saturday practice math proficiency testing—providing monthly sessions October through March at more than a dozen sites, where children take practice math proficiency tests at either 4 th and 6 th grade levels, developed by our volunteers and based closely on Ohio Department of Education standards.
  4. Social cyberpower—helping our community overcome the digital divide by building web pages for religious institutions as community resource centers.

Find out more about these programs at the Murchison Center to see how they might be useful to your center's work.

James Moseby, a University of Toledo graduate, has been a volunteer teaching Intro to Computers at The Murchison Center for the past five years.


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