About Monroe Circle Community Center
Built in the 1900s, the entire South Bend block of 500 Western Avenue was at one time the hub of business, social and spiritual activity. Recently renovated and historically restored, Monroe Circle Community Center (MC3) has quickly become the cornerstone for renewal in this neighborhood.
Our goal? That everyone living in the Monroe Circle community will know their value and take steps toward a full and meaningful life. We seek community transformation through strong family units, decreased crime rates and decreased high school drop out rates. As a whole, our vision is that Monroe Circle be transformed into a vibrant community that cares for, dignifies, equips and guides each other. We want to empower the community so that it is self-initiating, taking ownership and leadership of its continued transformation.
The journey to MC3 started in 2001 when two volunteers from Granger Community Church (GCC) were given permission to mentor children living in the Monroe Circle public housing complex. That program was known as Son City Kids. In 2004, the director of the Ko-Op 65 food pantry asked GCC to help provide food for their pantry. Volunteers began helping with food and other small rehab jobs that the building desperately needed. In December of that year, Ko-Op 65 offered to sell the pantry to GCC for one dollar. In January 2005, GCC took over the pantry and began the effort to acquire all three adjoining buildings. Through donated funds, labor, gifts “in kind,” and other community and business partnerships, MC3 was renovated and historically restored in 2007.
MC3’s mission is to help each adult and each child living on South Bend’s Near West Side take their next step toward a full and meaningful life, to add value, and to encourage and help each person discover their worth for the purpose of developing a vibrant, safe and strong community with strong families. The word VALUE is used as an acronym that serves as a framework for the center’s programming initiatives:
V – vocational
A – art expression
L – leadership and spiritual development
U – unique health and wellness
E – education empowerment