DES MOINES, Iowa — For seven years the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families has been providing services for the unemployed and underemployed populations in the Des Moines metro. But as the word got out and their services continue to grow, so does their need for more space. That’s why Wednesday they are celebrating a grand reopening for their new location next to DMACC’s urban campus.
They aren’t moving far, just a block down the street, but it will have a major impact on the future of the center and what services it can provide. The new facility is nearly double the square footage of the center’s original location.
“Some of the benefits of having a larger facility, we are now able to bring our men’s clothing closet, Men on the Move, on site. We are also going to expand as far as having additional classroom space and computer labs. This will expand opportunities that we have to be able to do IT training on site and really explore even being able to do English as a Second Language classes,” Director Marvin DeJear said.
DeJear said they are getting more people coming through their doors than ever before, and because of that, things got a little cramped. But despite the center rapidly growing, DeJear feels they can reach even more people in Des Moines.
“I still think we are one of the best-kept secrets in the Des Moines metro,” DeJear said. “There are still a lot of people who still don’t know what we do. Sometimes they understand what one service may provide. A lot of people think ‘oh, if I don’t need a job, I don’t need to go to the Evelyn K. Davis Center,’ but they don’t understand the amount of activities and services we provide. We can help people with their finances, so we can really help people from credit repair, debt reduction, all the way to understanding how to buy a house, buy a car.”
Employees have been in the building for a little over a month getting things moved in, but are finally celebrating it all Wednesday with the reopening event starting at 2 p.m. The center is located at 1171 7th St in Des Moines.
“Overall, I’d like to say this is just the beginning. We had a lot of great success over the previous seven years but I’m really excited about the things that we will be able to do in this new facility. I think we’re just scratching the surface on the things we can do to provide impact in people’s lives,” DeJear said.