DETROIT (WWJ) – For 30 years the nationally honored Ravendale Community Center on Detroit’s east side has provided services to residents — but it’s fallen on hard times and may have to close.

Ravendale President and founder Toni McIlwain said the center has been a beacon of hope in the neighborhood for many over the years.

“Ravendale is like a haven to them. I mean, we keep a very clean facility, we keep our computers up and running, we provide them with an atmosphere of love and hope,” she told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne. “We are actually reducing crime in that area. (We’re helpful) educational-wise for the residents … Four residents this week received jobs through our center.”

McIlwain, who most months does not draw a salary, said the center needs at least $250,000 to stay open. “When they announced that I was closing the parents cried, the kids we knocking on my door with dollars bills, ‘Can you keep open? Will this help you stay open?

“I’m just praying that in the last hour it happens and, you know, we will continue to give people in that area,” McIlwain said. “We’re just praying for a miracle.”

A fundraiser will take place on Monday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 a.m. at Ravendale Community Center at 13903 Harper, near Chalmers.


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