West Side Community House (WSCH) was founded in 1890 as the Methodist Deaconess Home of Cleveland. WSCH has operated as a private, nonsectarian nonprofit 501(c)3 social service agency since 1964, owned and operated by a board of managers. We work to meet the needs of community residents by providing an array of model programs and services for children, families and older adults. Services are open to all social, racial, ethnic and income groups but are targeted to those who are most vulnerable and at-risk. Our programs strengthen the family, provide opportunities to learn and grow, support independent living, encourage economic self-sufficiency, and renew the life spirit.
Our mission is transforming lives in the community. West Side Community House envisions a people transformed in mind, body and spirit. We will continue to create and refine programs that empower and inspire, and to build relationships that support and sustain our mission. We will cultivate a spirit of neighbor caring for neighbor that will give the community back to the people with hope for a brighter future.
Everyone has a story to tell. Just ask us!
From the Executive Director
The following words were inspired by experiences at the Community House. They are meant to encourage, educate and inspire you in your daily walk – no matter where your shoes hit the pavement. Here, we find inspiration needed to keep going for another day.
Everyone knows that at small organizations, members of the team often have to fill gaps in staffing. On this particular day, I came in early to help prepare the home-delivered meals that go out to those who are homebound in our Healthy Aging Center. Sounds coming from the kitchen are rhythmic patterns of an assembly line of food and beverages being prepared to disperse to our homebound clients. It’s quiet at first. A peace resonates that is not experienced throughout the day. It is like the building is in preparation to receive the wide array of people that will enter in. It is nice, still.
We engage in small talk about life, family and movies. I learn that the movie “A Star is Born” is on its third remake while placing caps on fruit scooped into small plastic containers. As we complete the work, it is fast-paced and messy. We are all dependent on each other in order to progress to the next phase of meal preparation. My next job is to put bread and butter into each bag. Not everyone will eat the bread and butter together, but there is concern for the person that does want it, and does not receive both. What a bummer! They are carefully and swiftly placed into the bag, positioning the bread to be smash proof. It is then passed along to be completed with plastic ware and napkins. Milk, fruit cup, bread, butter, plastic ware.
It feels like a boomerang thrown to the wind. Momentum increases through packing, shifting and folding all ending when we reach 150 – the number of meals to be delivered that day. There is a strategy employed to carry out this task and as the boomerang returns to the place of origination, we sweep, wipe and settle down.
I liken this to our work with people who walk through our doors every day. Situations are sometimes messy. The boomerang of service gains momentum as resources and activities are sought out. Stories are shared and new information gained. Laughs and hugs are passed across the life span from elders to newborns. Items that were meticulously assembled and packaged are placed into hands for use by all in a family. The range is small and wide at the same time – engaging people on many levels. Strategy is carried out on the individual, program and agency level. It is the place that matters at 9300 Lorain Ave.
All of this builds up to the return of the boomerang at the end of the day in anticipation of that same quietness and peace felt in the early morning hours. It is still and peaceful. The building has done her work of receiving and housing the activities and tasks of the Community House. In the stillness of the evening hours, the building prepares to do it all another day.
Yours In Service
This slideshow has photos from the late 1800’s to 2006 when we moved from our historic building at West 30th and Bridge Avenue to our brand new facility at West 93rd and Lorain Avenue.