The Friendly House of the Quad Cities was started in 1896. It is a non-profit organization that provides support of many kinds to the citizens of the Quad City area. There are programs for the young and old that range from meals to nurturing care. The new buildinghas been a huge asset to the organization as it is more efficient for activities as well as heating/cooling. It even has a beautiful indoor gymnasium!
Recently, the Davenport Kiwanis Club visited the facility for their weekly program.The meeting room was spacious and the program was informative. Vice President Alan Guard introduced Lorelei Pfautz and fellow Member, Jodi Stock, of the Friendly House, who presented the talk. Lorelei started her presentation by thanking our club for helping the Friendly House purchase their bus. The bus was special ordered to allow for the transporting elderly persons and pre-school children. The seats are adjustable to suit both ages.
The Friendly House was started in Davenport in 1896 under the "Settlement House Principle"
with the purpose of responding to the needs of individuals and families new to the community. Jane Adams similarly established "Hull House" in Chicago to provide a sense of neighborhood and community to the immigrants and others new to the city of Chicago.
April 27th will be the 111th anniversary of the establishment of The Friendly House. The original building was called The Klaus Gross House and was located at the corner of West Third Street and Taylor Street. This building burned to the ground in 1924 and was rebuilt by then director E. P. Adler in 1925. The new building on Vine Street was constructed in 1996.
Over the years the mission of The Friendly House has evolved to help all ages of the community. The mission now has three main missions:
1. Youth Services, which includes an Early Learning Program, an After School Program, a Summer Day-Care Program, a Teen Center for Intermediate Age Children and "Friendly Kids Corner" at Newcomb Presbyterian Church. This service has "Pre-school and Childcare Scholarships" to offset costs to low income families.
2. Family Services, which includes Emergency Assistance, Advocacy, Referrals and Outreach. Types of assistance include food distributions, emergency assistance, special assistance, help in filing income tax returns, educational scholarships and/or grants to allow children to attend summer camps.
3. Senior Services, include programs to engage seniors in activities which promote wellness and independence, center based social activities, such as luncheons and/or card games and home delivery of meals to shut-ins.
The Friendly House also has a summer gardening program which allows children in the program to learn gardening skills. Adults and families are also allowed to use plots to grow vegetables for own use. Excess crops are distributed to the Family Services food distribution program.
The Friendly House has a $ 2,000,000 yearly budget. It is intended to keep the programs affordable and to serve the community. The neighborhood children can all be termed "at risk".
Questions that were posed:
How has the closing of Valley Shelter affected The Friendly House?
The children have had to be relocated. They are not all in close proximity to The Friendly House.
Some cannot now be helped by The Friendly House.
How has State Funding been adjusted?
Changes to state funding is the reverse of what would be ideal. There is now violence due to closing of facilities such as Valley Shelter. The funding seems to wait until there is a crisis.
We need to continue to support the good organizations, such as The Friendly House of the Quad Cities, in order to have a better community to live in.
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