The Martin Luther King Jr. Family Life Center is seeking a new home.
The center’s lease on the building it occupies at 519 Chestnut St. expired in December, and it is now operating month to month. a computer lab, which will soon begin offering free computer-literacy courses, is taking up significant space in what was once an all-purpose room.
“We need another building,” said founder and President Vanessa Owens. “Our lease has run out, and we’re in dire straits.”
The center has been located at 519 Chestnut St. in Lebanon location for four years. its mission is to support and strengthen the community by serving youth and families through counseling, housing, education, recreational activities and advocacy, according to its website, mlkflcenter.org.
‘… a day on; not a day off’
The first-floor room the computer lab now occupies was once a multipurpose room that could fit more than 50 people. Now, because the computers and desks take up so much space, there isn’t enough room to do many of the activities they did before, Owens said.
“The space is gone,” she said.
Hastening the urgency, Owens said, is the fact the building’s owner wants to renovate and is asking the center to move out at its earliest convenience.
“We’re looking frantically for a space now to house the community center,” she said. “We’re here until we find somewhere else to go. But we need to find somewhere soon.”
The computer lab, which consists of eight recently donated computers, printers and desks, will soon offer a variety of classes, said Sherry Owens, the center’s executive director.
“What we’re doing with the computer lab is we’re offering programs to help people with job searches, with job placement, with resume building — because a lot of people don’t have access to the Internet,” she said
The center will also offer computer-literacy training for people who aren’t familiar with computers and the Internet, Sherry Owens said.
“It seems like, especially if you’re incarcerated for four or five years, you didn’t learn too much about computers, and then the first thing you learn is how to work a cell phone and go on Facebook,” she said. “You don’t know actually create a document or do an attachment.
“And if you’re over 30, you probably didn’t have computer training in high school, so you’re a little bit further behind than your children are as far as speed on the keyboard,” she added.
For more information on the center’s computer lab, contact Sherry Owens at 717-507-8555.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 272-5611, ext. 145