In the Neighborhood

Our Second Saturday Servants group from West Allis First UMC will be working at Northcott Neighborhood House the next three months. In fact, we are going there today.  A small crew will also be making sandwiches each month for delivery to homeless folks outside.
Northcott Neighborhood House offers a variety of programs to enrich our community.

Northcott Headstart
Community Programs
Food/Clothing Pantry:

Northcott Neighborhood House operates an emergency food pantry, which serves about 1,200 community residents annually. In addition, we distribute food to 1,000 older adults and recent Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program graduates. Bread, muffins and bakery goods are available daily, as well as a clothing exchange to meet family apparel needs.  Our team will probably do a good bit of sorting in the clothing exchange this month.
Fresh Start

Northcott Neighborhood House has become a major center of job training for the construction trades with the Fresh Start program for young adults and the Milwaukee Builds program for adults. These programs provide job training, educational enhancement, and actual construction experience. In addition, the outcomes include family homes designed for lower and middle class families.  Is this not cool?

Participation in Northcott programs is free. Programs, training, and education include:

  • Milwaukee Builds – (For ages 24 and older) Participants in this program are taught construction skills by an experienced supervisor and work on rehabbing foreclosed homes, deconstructing homes with raze orders and various community improvement projects. In addition to construction training, crew members receive various certificate trainings in Asbestos, Lead Safe Renovator, Hazardous Materials and others. Participants are paid $8 to $10 per hour.
  • Fresh Start – (For ages 18 – 24) Participants are provided training and employment skills over an 18-month period. 50% of the training slots are reserved for participants who’ve been incarcerated and are currently under supervision by DOC. The project focuses on new construction and certificate trainings in Asbestos, Hazardous Materials, Lead Safe Renovator, and others. Participants are paid $7.25 to $10 per hour.
  • Gorman Northside Homes Initiative – This program is building 40 rent-to-own homes in the Metcalfe Park and North Division neighborhoods. Participants are paid a minimum $11.50 per hour.
  • All participants receive training and certification in state-certified Asbestos Supervision, entry level construction skills, HAZMAT, Lead-Safe renovation, and Pre-Apprenticeship Certification.
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College provides educational services in Math for Carpenters, Building Materials and Cabinet Making, Energy Efficiency and weatherization standards, and Solar Panel installation. All participants in Northcott training programs without a high school diploma or GED are required to participate in efforts working towards earning their GED.

Northcott Neighbors

Northcott Neighbors was created to rebuild and create new partnerships between Metro area congregations and this vital ministry. We have worked to reach out to our church communities to broaden and diversify the support base of this crucial ministry which celebrated its 50th anniversary in May 2011.

Northcott Neighbors recruit volunteers who assist teachers in their classrooms and on field trips, and provide classroom and curriculum resources to enhance educational programs, such as Head Start classes. Northcott Neighbors members have also updated and repaired the children’s playground equipment and freshened the center’s landscaping. In addition, congregations help to keep Northcott’s food pantry well stocked.

This is one of my new areas of involvement with Northcott.
Youth Programs
Community Learning Centers

Northcott collaborates with Milwaukee Public Schools to operate two Community Learning Centers (CLCs): Greenfield CLC and Keefe Avenue CLC. These programs take place after school Monday through Thursday from 2:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. during the school year. The program is open to community residents as well as school families. Children up to the 8th grade are welcome. The purpose of the program is to provide after-school care and academic enrichment to school and community families.  Really good stuff!

CLC activities focus on academic assistance, enrichment in math and reading, educational enhancement activities, homework assistance, and recreation. CLC programs include arts, field trips, and innovative new activities. There are no fees for participation, but W-2 eligibility is welcomed.
Youth Sports

Northcott Neighborhood House has had a sports program since its founding in 1961.

Basketball has remained a major activity with neighborhood youth participating in both formal and informal games. Informal activities are offered during free gym which takes place at varying times during the year. Currently, free gym is offered on Tuesday and Thursday from 4 P.M. until 9 P.M. Younger youth from 7-12 years of age utilize the gym until 7 P.M.. The evenings are for older youth aged 13-18.

Northcott operates several Basketball leagues including the Challenge Basketball League which runs from mid-November until April. These are for youth aged 11-16. Practice is year round and requires pre-registration.

There is also participation in the Boys and Girls Clubs Future Heroes Football League for youth ages 12-14 that starts to meet in August each year. We also participate in a league for older youth ages 15-17 that begins in August. Interested youth should contact Bob Johnson at Northcott Neighborhood House during the summer.

Other sports that take place during the year include: volleyball, soccer, and open table games. We urge youth to drop by to check out the different opportunities during our after-school program that operates daily from 4 P.M. to 9 P.M. year-round. All programs require registration at the time of admittance. No fees are required.
Afterschool Programs

Northcott’s afterschool youth program offers a diverse set of opportunities for youth from ages 7 – 19.  These are important programs for many youth.

Current programs include:

  • Computer lab
  • Games
  • Free gym
  • Tutoring
  • Driver’s education
  • Sports
  • AODA Prevention
  • Arts Programs
  • Other leadership development and educational opportunities

There are also various field trips, special events, crime prevention activities, and holiday celebrations. Participants also have the opportunity to represent Northcott Neighborhood House at state and citywide conferences where they come into contact with diverse peers.  this is really exciting.
Summer Programs

There are also special summer programs.

In future months, I plan to add some blogs about my experiences at Northcott.


About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
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6 Responses to In the Neighborhood

  1. Tom Bolton says:

    We had a wonderful morning at Northcott on March 9. We were welcomed warmly by folks participating in basketball and other activities. We enjoyed each other as we worked, sorting and organizing in the food pantry today. I always knew Val was creative and hard-working, but had not fully “got” her great sense of humor until today! We got a good amount of organizing done today. Yay!

    • Valerie Holzman says:

      God gave us the ability to laugh and use our wit to spread joy. Thanks for noticing. I had fun too!!

  2. Pingback: In the Food Pantry | Hopeful

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