In 1997 a group of community residents, encouraged by St. Joseph’s Lutheran Church, started meeting to discuss what could be done to bring the community together and improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. Other agencies including Lehigh County Children and Youth Services, the Allentown School District, and United Way joined the table. After two years of planning, the Allentown School District received a grant from the federal government for afterschool and summer programs as well as funding for adult English classes. Grants were also received from Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., the Donley Foundation and United Way. The Mosser Village Family Center was on its way.
In October of 1999, a director was hired and Mosser Village Family Center opened its doors. Since then two community residents have been added to the staff, one serving as the assistant director, the second assisting with the food pantry. The Center provides the community with free programs and services for children and adults.
The Mosser Village Family Center is a 501(C)3 non-profit agency governed by a board of directors. Every effort is made to draw at least 51% of the board members from the community.
The Mosser Village Family Center seeks to build trust, relationships, and communication among neighbors, and to utilize existing assets and resources to build a stronger community.
Relationships: Build relationships of trust and mutual respect among residents, groups, or institutions that live, work, or serve in our neighborhood.
Ownership and Partnership: Strengthen a sense of ownership and partnership in neighborhood development among residents.
Empowerment: Empower individuals to effectively address personal, family, and neighborhood concerns. Empower and encourage parents and/or guardians toward active involvement and participation in the lives and experiences of our children and youth.
Personal Growth and Development: Foster and enrich the personal growth and development of the residents of our community.
Assets: Identify and apply the assets that exist within the residents, groups, or institutions for the sake of the neighborhood.
Volunteer Opportunities: Offer neighbors opportunities to support the community.
What We Do
Mosser Village Family Center sponsors and coordinates a variety of programs and services. Some ongoing efforts include the following:
Provide early intervention and prevention services to the residents of the 14th ward of the City of Allentown by providing assistance in finding solutions to difficult problems facing families today.
Provide a safe place for children after school by offering free afterschool educational and recreational programs in the school.
Offer free summer programs for the children in the neighborhood school and community. This allows the children the opportunity to experience the arts, literature, math, and reading while having fun.
Operate an emergency pantry for the residents of the 14th ward that provides healthy food during times of economic stress.
Offer free clothing to needy residents from the Mosser Village Family Center clothing bank stocked from community and faith-based donations.
Provide a worksite to community youth through Lehigh County Juvenile Probation so that they learn to take pride and ownership in their community.
Staff the Mosser Village Family Center office daily to serve the community with assistance in problem solving, referral, and case management. The community is encouraged to drop into the Center for information, assistance, or to volunteer for a Mosser Village Family Center activity.
Collaborate with local colleges, universities, social service agencies, and community and faith-based organizations.
Welcome volunteers to help operate many Mosser Village Family Center activities and programs, providing opportunities for intergenerational contacts.
Partner with the administration and faculty at the Mosser School in planning and implementing after-school and summer activities, as well as offering other family-oriented support services.