Rochester, MN  (KROC AM News) - A Rochester housing agency received a check Thursday from Century High School students who held a fundraising effort last month that raised $28,000.

The students had selected Center City Housing’s Empowerment Center as one of its recipients and Thursday gave the organization a check for half of the fundraiser total ($14,253.56).

The other half went to Bear Creek Services.

Center City’s Gage East Apartments project opened last year and currently provides housing and services to 20 families and 35 teenagers and young adults. Center City is now trying to raise $2.5 million for its Empowerment Center with the hope of having it ready by September. The center will be located next to the apartment complex in the former Gage East School. The center will offer services to those living at the Gage Apartments and the surrounding neighborhood.

According to Center City, the Empowerment Center will house multiple agencies with shared goals and values to provide programming for low income and homeless families and youth. This includes Family Service Rochester, Families First/Head Start, Lutheran Social Services LINK program, and Workforce Development Inc. These programs will bring Head Start classrooms, mental health supports, job training, and homeless and at risk youth supports. The Empowerment Center will not duplicate services already provided in the community, but because of transportation issues, will make services more accessible to a larger population in the northwest neighborhood that has need for additional supports for families and children.   

The focus of the programming will be to end the generational homeless cycle that many families experience, to increase the life skills for every person entering our doors, and to help improve the outlook for all of those struggling in Rochester. In doing this, the entire Rochester community will be strengthened.

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