Park Ave. group partnering with RHM

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Teaching life skills goal of initiativeBy Shavonne Potts
Five months ago, a group that would become known as the Park Avenue Project gathered in a room to brainstorm on how its members could best serve the clients of Rowan Helping Ministries.
Now the group, made up of community leaders, ministers and volunteers, is called New Tomorrows and is having a dedication and reception Sunday.
New Tomorrows is a partnership between Rowan Helping Ministries and Park Avenue United Methodist Church.
The initiative is designed to facilitate a structured daytime environment for learning basic life skills in a classroom setting.
The Rowan Helping Ministries building, at 226 N. Long St., sits at the southwest corner of the Park Avenue neighborhood.
The dedication service will be from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Park Avenue United Methodist, 500 Park Ave.
“It is an open house. There will be people from the neighborhood. It is open to the public. Shelter guests and community partners are all going to be in attendance in at open house,” said Dianne Scott, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries.
She said the open house will give people an understanding of what the New Tomorrows program is about.
Dozens of volunteers make up the partners for New Tomorrows, including Park Avenue Pastor Annalee Allen, who has previously expressed the need for such an effort.
The program was initiated because the needs of people have changed at Rowan Helping Ministries.
Participants will take classes and, for now, hold meetings at the church.
Volunteers want to be able to help participants with a range of activities, from job coaching to counseling.
One of the ideas is to have life skills training that would teach people about nutrition or how to shop for groceries.
The first series of classes will focus on awakening creativity using yoga, along with frugal shopping and cooking classes.
Groups will be meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The first round of participants will meet March 2.
“Classes are going to be fun and exciting. We are going to focus on this neighborhood,” Scott said.