St Michaels and All Angels embraces a Dallas neighborhood

IMG_1211-150x150Seventeen years ago, St Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas gave a gift to the city of Dallas to celebrate it’s 50th (“Jubilee”) Anniversary. They identified a neighborhood just east of downtown where a local factory had closed, leaving many residents unemployed, and public safety had deteriorated so much that city trash collectors refused to pick up the trash.

IMG_1215-Version-2-150x150Jubilee Park is now the center of a revitalized 62-block area where crime has dropped 64 percent. A robust network of public and private partnerships — including housing, job preparedness, education, early childhood, public safety, and recreation — weaves a web of support and stability around a transformed neighborhood. At O. M. Roberts elementary school, which was renovated and reopened in 2013, volunteers from St Michaels read with students regularly.
IMG_1208-Version-2-150x150On a recent visit during a school holiday, I spotted some boys playing on a world-class soccer field, and a team of cooks preparing a delicious, healthy meal — as they do every day for the children who come to the after-school program. Ben Leal (Jubilee Park executive director) and Jeff Rice (SMAA parishioner andJubilee Board Member) showed me around the entire Jubilee complex. I saw senior housing, a day care and early childhood center, classrooms for computer and ESL classes and a community garden.

To learn more about the impact Jubilee has had on this neighborhood, read the full story here.