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Who: History and Identity
- Baxter Community Center was founded in 1969 as a response to the civil strife, profound racial tension, and significant unmet needs mounting in the core city of Grand Rapids.
- We are a pathway out of poverty for families, a steadfast resource for basic human needs, and a safe haven for young people in our community.
The high incidence of crime and drug use has put a strain upon the neighborhood and the hope of the people who live there.
What: Mission, Programs, and Goals
- Our mission is to act as “A Christian Response to Human Needs.” Every program that we develop begins with the realization of a need or desire within our community.
- At Baxter, we offer many services under one roof:
- Child Development Center
- Wholistic Health Clinic
- Mizizi Maji Youth Mentoring Program
- Baxter’s goals include:
- Addressing the immediate needs of individuals
- Assisting individuals in becoming responsible, productive, and self-sufficient
- Affirming the positive qualities of individuals and the community
We serve the Baxter neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan, an area bound on the north and south by Wealthy and Franklin and on the east and west by Fuller and Eastern.
Why: Area Demographics
- 33% of households and 63.4% of children under the age of five live below the poverty line.
- Single parents lead over 35.9% of neighborhood households.
- Crime rates surpass city averages in all seven categories.
- 99% of children qualify for free or reduced school lunches.
- We are called to respond: “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).