St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care was included in the Governor’s proposed biennial budget as a non-state agency grant recipient.

The $5 million will be used exclusively to fund construction costs to complete its Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave.

The center opened in September 2015 after raising about $19 million of the $26 million needed to complete the project. The State allocation will allow the center to open 100 percent of its program units and fully serve the community.

“We are so appreciative to the State for helping us finish construction of the Bucyrus Campus,” said President/CEO Sr. Edna Lonergan, OSF. “This will allow us to finish building the Alzheimer’s and dementia unit, which is so critically needed in this area of town. We will build the gym, finish our classrooms, build a handicapped-accessible Aquatic Center to teach adults with disabilities and neighborhood children to swim, and construct a Community Band Shell and lighted walkway, which will be a focal point for neighborhood gatherings.”

Lonergan added, “Chronic medical conditions put enormous strain on families. Our efforts can now be focused on providing affordable services so we can continue our mission of serving everyone regardless of their ability to pay.”

St. Ann Center, which has drawn national attention for its intergenerational model, provides early childhood education, recreational opportunities and adult day services all under one roof. In only 15 months, the Bucyrus Campus has grown to serve 130 children and 130 adults. Upon completion, Head Start and Early Head Start programs will serve 230 children per day. More than 350 adult clients, including the frail elderly and adults with physical and developmental disabilities, will make use of day services that include aquatics, art, music, and other forms of therapy.

The center’s programs are open to the entire community, and address the needs of under-served residents on Milwaukee’s north side. The center features a full-service medical clinic and a dental clinic – one of only three dental clinics in the state of Wisconsin equipped to serve persons with severe physical and cognitive disabilities.

Lonergan emphasized that St. Ann Center’s mission includes serving the entire community, from early childhood education and health care to economic development. In the past year, the center has organized two business incubators for local residents trying to start or expand a business. St. Ann Center is also partnering with businesses and community groups to revitalize the North Avenue corridor and surrounding neighborhood.

“We are committed to building this community from within, not gentrification,” said Lonergan.

The Bucyrus Campus has already created 70 permanent jobs, with more than 90 percent of them filled by residents who live in the surrounding neighborhood. That number is expected to rise to 200 jobs over the next two years. St. Ann Center Board member Tim Sullivan, who led the facility’s capital campaign, characterized the Bucyrus Campus as “the most exciting, transformational, community project in the city, ever.”

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care opened as St. Ann Adult Day Care in 1983, and has been expanding its services ever since. It has resulted in fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits and lower health care costs. The programs enable people to remain with families and other caregivers. Intergenerational care is a joyful atmosphere that helps adults to live longer, more meaningful lives and teaches children to appreciate and learn from older adults and persons with disabilities.

© Photo

Lee Matz