The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on June 27, 1965 · Page 15
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June 27, 1965

The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 15

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Racine, Wisconsin
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Sunday, June 27, 1965
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Page 15
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Af fh^ Pink House RACINE SUNDAY lULUf IN I D iunioy, Jun« 27, 1965 ID In-nni but Still RepI Need Help Immigrants in Settling By John M. Pavlik Journal -Times Stall You can see bright flowers blooming in the windowboxes on even a casual drive around the block upon which Franklin School sits. It may seem a small thing to some, but the workers in the Pink House are proud of Operation Windowbox. It's the small successes they're looking for. Go to Problem Formally called the Franklin Neighborhood Center lay its YWCA sponsors, the Pink House is a two-year experiment in (the neighborhood- centered approach to social problems — bringing the workers to the problems. The Franklin Neighborhood Center grew out of a 1963 report by a Racine United com mittee formed "to investigate the possibilities of providing services to help newcomers and hard to reach citizens more easily assimilate and adapt themselves to our com- :munity." The report, three years in .the making, recommended the .development of neighborhood services in present facilities such as the Racine Street, Douglas Park, Lakeview and Washington Park community centers and the creation of centers where no facilities are available. It also recommended that a two-year pilot project be started to extend the services of an existing group work agency into a neighborhood needing its services. The Pink House is the result of the latter recommendation. Visited 152 Homes The program of the pilot project was to be determined by the agency and the worker and, once it got started, by the groups it reached. In other words, it was to be a flexible program, changeable according to need. I The important point stressed was that the program must start where those to be helped live. It must be neighborhood-centered. What's been accomplished in the unsettled ejght-month life of the Franklin Neighborhood Center? Workers have visited 152 homes to acquaint residents with the program. Twelve families "are beginning to show leadership" and to assist with the co-operative project. Fifty-two adult women have met and are beginning to work together. Develop Skills Twelve mothers, have learned to knit and 17 have developed sewing skills. Fifteen boys have joined a boys* social club with male leadership. Six persons have received assistance in finding a job and 14 attended a session on iiiiiiiiM iiiiiiMiiMiiiuuHiiiiiMiiiiuMMMiiiiMiMiiiiiiiiiMiiMiiiiiiiMi Pink Houso has not yet been established and added 5 Years to Solve Problems It was no simple matter to transform the idea of neighborhood-centered services into action. The battle began in April, 1960, when a committee was formed to investigate the possibility of services to help newcomers to Racine. The idea was nearly com- mitteed to death and it was three years before a report was made. YW Accepts Challenge The committee recommended that a two-year pilot project be started to extend the services of an existing group work agency into a neighborhood to see what this approach could accomplish. The YWCA was asked to extend its services, and accepted. Then the money troubles started. The Y said the project would require a little over $12,000 a year and pledged $3,000. A year's fruitless search for the remainder followed, and wasn't resolved until the Y upped its ante to $8,000 a year and Racine United agreed to supply the rest. But the Y found it couldn't hire a full-time neighborhood director. There was little interest in the job, although the Y wasn't sure whether it was due to the salary or the poor timing in recruiting. Whatever the reason there were no applications. Part-Time Workers So the Y hired two part-time workers, Mrs. Sahag Akgulian and Mrs. Joyce Degenhart, and loaned a quarter of its executive's time "so the project could proceed." It proceeded in November of last year and the project's activities were scattered over the area while the Y looked for a place to house the center. For five months the program bounced from the Franklin Area Playschool to St. Rose School to the YWCA building before a small, pink cottage at 816 10th St. was rented for the remaining 19 months of the experiment. llllllliMlllllllililllillMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Illllllllllllllllllllllll * * * f Summer < at Pink House • ,,A !• A special summer' '-ipxji^^ gram has been set for the Pink House, under the direction of Mrs. Arden Borgen and Marge Holly. The 10 week program began last Monday. The schedule each week, subject to change: Monday afternoon, 1:30, Outdoor Trippers, for ages 6 to 10. Tuesday morning, 10 a.m. to noon, Moms and Moppets. The children play while mother sews or knits. Tuesday afternoon, 2 to 4:30, drama club for anyone passed third grade, adults included. Work on a dramatic production. Tuesday evening, 6:30, Boys Club. Swimming at the YWCA pool at 7. Wednesday evening, 7:30 Mom's Night Out, special programs and social hour for mother. Thursday morning, 10 to noon, home decoration, personal aid and community information. Thursday afternoon, 1:30, mechanical, general and needlecrafts. Friday morning, 10 to noon, music group for anyone who das finished thii-d grade. Throe special trips are planned to area scout camps for Wednesdays, June 30, July 23 and August II, The camping program is a cooperative project of the YWCA, YMCA, and tho Boy and Girl Scouts. employment and the Job Corps. Three children have been helped to enter school and three others are being helped with individual problems. Twenty-four different organizations have shown an interest in co-operating in the project. And windowboxes are flowering in the neighborhood. It's the small successes they're looking for. Filtered down from the settlement houses popular around the turn of the century, the neighborhood approach differs primarily from the settlement idea in that the social workers generally don't live in the area they serve. But the term "settlement" is perhaps as appropriate to today's problems in Racine as it was when Jane Addams and Ellen Starr founded Hull House in Chicago in 1889, Comparable Problems Settlements were conceived to help the foreign-born get settled in their adopted country and to assist the immigrant in the painful process of adjusting to American conditions. Today the imniigrant flow is reduced,'io;^ trickle, but we are face^Wifh a new migration. This' time we call them "sin-migrants" — the Negroes from the rural sputh. A's. James E. O'Brien, chairman of the -Planning Directorate of Racine United when the Franklin neighborhood project was approved, has pointed out, "their problems are amazingly similar." py have suddenly moved different and more culture, they l§iigl^,vti[iany of the basic skills io ^^ity living and they are among people whose customs and ways of life are different from theirs," O'Brien said. "They may not have quite as severe a language problem, but the difference in race and color is an even larger problem." Majority Bom Elsewhere A I96I study of Racine done by the University of Wisconsin showed that 71 per cent of the city's Negroes came from out-of-town and for reasons of self improvement, came here for better jobs. A 1963 study of two grades in five Racine core schools showed that, in two of the schools, more children were born out of Racine than were born here. The welcome to Racine is not always warm for the in- migrants, teachers at Franklin school said. "These newcomers often come as total strangers. Their vocabulary and pronunciation are different. In adjusting to their new surroundings, even meager housing here is an improvement over what the family had. "They are quite satisfied with what we call sub-standard homes. They haven't had experience with n o rt h e r n housing and sanitation." Lack of Understanding City health department nurses agreed that "the greatest problem lies in their lack of understanding the concepts of health and healthful living." Neighborhood centered programs should be located in areas with many social needs, said R, L. Richardson, executive director of Milwaukee's Neighborhood House, who visited Racine recently. "I feel that if it's a new endeavor it should be in an area that has not reached absolute rock bottom, because much self- help is needed." In theory, Richardson said, the residents of a neighborhood see the need to do something about its problems and start a center. Need Outside Help "In practice," he said, "this doesn't happen. Some existing organization has to give emphasis to the movement." In Racine the emphasis was provided by the planning arm of Racine United and the job of putting the idea into effect was taken on by the YWCA. The programs at the Pink House are simple. They are designed to help the residents adapt to urban ways of living, to help the wives and mothers learn homemaking skills and. better ways to care for their children and to provide sopie recreation for the children. The program is trying to reach those who don't know about existing services and don't know where to turn for help. "There are camp trips and neighborhood parties, ifamily cook-outs and classes. Mothers gather to sew and meet one another and to develop a neighborhood ,^wareness. A chi|,dren's game program has been so popular that regis- tratioft-;;ii!l ^i5 ^.;jt:o be.: limited because of "lack of facilities. 35 Volunteers Parents, caught in the high rent-low income squeez.^j come to the center for help on budgeting. Others want to' make their homes more attractive but don't want to spend money on someone else's property. The center tries to point out inexpensive ways to beautify, like Operation Windowbox. Virginia Carrier, executive director of the YWCA said more than 35 volunteers have worked as leaders, hostesses and teachers since the program began. She said a fall program at there are no plans to stay open full time. It 's Impossible, she said, without a full- time staff and many more enthusiastic volunteers. But as much as possible the small, four-room pink house will be used as a meeting place and a center of information and communication In the neighborhood. * * * Lack of Use 'Shameful' Among the recommendations in the 1963 neighborhood services report was that neighborhood centers be established at Racine 's existing community centers. Critical of what he calls the centers' "shameful" lack of use is Carroll A. Dickinson, executive director of the Racine Urban League. Important Age "Twelve to 14 is a very important age for a youngster because you can still do something with him; you can still mold him. If you wait until he's a 17 or 18-year-old thug you can just forget him, you're not going to reach him," Dickinson said. "The Racine Street area is full of these kids hanging around with nothing to do; kids with time on their hands who have to create their own diversions. "And right smack in the middle of this area is a community center that's closed. "The Recreation Depart ment says I should have seen it last year. Well, I wouldn't want to have seen it last year Wants Positive Action "If nothing else give it to the Urban League and let us see what we can do with it." "I'm not saying to scrap the whole thing, and I'm not say ing that in some areas the Recreation Department .isn't doing a great job," DicKirlson said. "I realize there are many complexities and you don't just do things overnight. But I'd like to see a positive pro gram and see it implemented "The way it is now it's just not working. The Urban League would be happy to sit down with anybody and see if we can't find some ways to implement a program." Dickinson was cautiously in favor of the neighborhood centered approach. Some Exclude Selves "Not only has the Negro been excluded by society, but he's also done a pretty effective job of excluding himself for a lot of" reasons. There are many Negroes who never get beyond an eight block area. And most of the white people seen in Negro neighborhoods are authority figures. The Negro's been turned down so often that now if ,he l^as'a problem the last place he'll go to is a public agency. "f think it's important that fimiy someone is getting into the"'iieighboi:,hood whom the Negro cart accept. It's probably about time for aggressive case work to start to happen. "If this kind of approach is successful at all then the time should come when it won't even be necessary. "It's heartening to see the Franklin project being tried. That bunch of gals really cares. But it's just so far that volunteers can go. It needs a professional staff. "The theory, is basically a good one, but it's going to take a few more Pink Houses to get -the Negro into the stream of society." An architect's sketch shows the new Greek Orthodox Church that will be constructed by next year on the east side of the Green Bay Road near Wright Avenue. The church, topped by a Byzantine dome, is to the right and an educational unit and offices at left. The large hall, to the rear of the educational unit is to be built at a future date. Ground will be broken for the new church on Sunday, July 4. Greek Orthodox to Build Church Ground-b r e a k i n g ceremonies will be held 3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 4, for a new Greek Orthodox Church to be built on a six-acre site at the Green Bay Road and Wright Ave. The congregation of Kimis- sis Theotokou Hellenic Orthodox Church, now located at 723 Grand Ave., will move into the new church when it is completed in 1966, according to the Rev. Peter Pappa- demetriou. Officiating at ground-breaking ceremonies will be the Rt. Rev. Meletios Tripodakis of Chicago, bishop of Christian- oupolis. Start 2 Units Plans are for three sections HELPS LAWNS 3 WAYS! Wipes out dandelions, other broad- leaved weeds. Feeds lawn nutrients it needs (and iron to stop yellow- infi). Kills buRS but not earthworms. GOLF BRAHO TRIPLE TONIC is easy to apply. Try it! NAME'S THE SAME LEVICH, Yugoslavia —(/Pi — All 300 inhabitants of this village have the same family name — Levich. The village was founded by a Levich in the 16th Century. The family expanded but no other outsiders ever settled there. in the new church. The first two sections will be completed by next year in a $231,000 project. Tliey include the church proper and a connected building for Sunday School classes, offices, multi-purpose room and kitchen. In the future, a larger hall for recreational and social activities and dining will be constructed. The church will be shaped in the form of a Greek cross and will be topped by a light blue dome. The design will combine features of both Byzantine and contemporary church architecture. The nave will seat 250. The building will feature precast wall panels of quartz and marble and copper ornamentation. The windows are designed for installation of stained glass in the future. Organized in 1916 The architect is Wilson- Haney Asosciates, Inc., Kenosha, and the general contractor is Korndoerfer Construction Co., Inc. of Racine. Co-chairmen of the Greek Church Building Committee are Steve Savas and Ernest Nielsen. President of the congregation is George Loumos. A parsonage already is on the church site, having been moved there from a nearby area. The Greek church was organized in Racine in 1916 with the first Liturgy being held Nov. 19 of that year in Moose Hall. A home was purchased on Grand Ave. in 1917 and re­ modeled into a church. In .1924 the present church was constructed on the same site. Over the years the church has operated a parochial school for teaching the Greek language to children of the congregation. ^ T h e classes meet several afternoons a week. The church serves Greek Orthodox members from Racine, Kenosha and Lake Geneva. 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