The Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center began in Spokane more than 40 years ago in response to the community’s need. In the summer of 1970, the Bethel AME Church of Spokane held a summer camp for forty-two economically disadvantaged youth. By the end of the weekend, the organizers knew Spokane needed a year-round program to support youth development. A grassroots committee came together from diverse ethnic backgrounds, creating the Southeast Spokane Youth Center, which later became the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center. During our first 10 years, the Center focused on providing recreation, education and cultural programs for low income children and youth. Over the next two decades, we continually expanded our scope of programming, adding integrated family services to provide support for children and families within the context of honoring cultural diversity and fostering community relationships.
Today, we are a regionally recognized social service center providing comprehensive education, social services and cultural enrichment programs for children and families. Continuing the work of our original founders, we remains responsive to our community’s needs. By living out the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., we continue to pave the way for a more equitable future by encouraging families to take responsibility through preparing children to succeed in school and throughout life, providing leadership opportunities for youth, celebrating cultural diversity, and fostering meaningful connections between community members from all walks of life.
Moving Forward in 2018
The new year ushered in a number of challenges including our transition to East Central Community Center (ECCC). With the direction of Freda Gandy, the Executive Director, the MLK Jr Family Outreach Center now manages ECCC. Managing ECCC requires working with a number of community partners including Community Colleges of Spokane, W.I.C., SNAP, 2nd Harvest, Northwest Harvest, the Spokane Youth and Police Initiative and various non-profits. Stay tuned as we aim to provide community interactions that supports and encourages having fun, while promoting education and nutrition. East Central Community Center and the MLK Jr Family Outreach Center both have rich histories that can never be challenged. Not only are our histories honored and respected among our community, they remain legacies that we hold dear. We look forward to serving East Central Spokane. Above all, we welcome your support as we continue to grow. #WeareMLK.