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History of the Center

The Bay View Community Center is an independent social services organization serving southeastern Wisconsin since 1978. The Center started in a single-storefront, Depression-era building on Milwaukee’s Kinnickinnic Avenue. Since then the Center has moved to a more suitable location, but from those early days of leaky pipes and faulty electricity the Center has grown into a busy place that strives every day to make our community a better place.

From its earliest days the Bay View Community Center has fostered a belief in quality. The Center maintains criteria that ensure programs are worthwhile and valuable to program participants. Staff and volunteers aim to consistently provide programs that exceed expectations. The tremendous increase in program attendance throughout the years is the result of quality programming that consistently meets the needs of people in our community.

When an assessment of community needs revealed that our staff alone could not sufficiently meet those needs, we decided to build a volunteer force that would function in many ways like a paid staff. Today, the Bay View Community Center is proud of its volunteer corps, which numbers more than 260 people. These hard-working individuals are nurtured and supported like paid staff. They have job descriptions and decision-making authority, are encouraged to think creatively and innovatively, and receive recognition for their service. Many of our programs are suggested, developed, and even run by volunteers. Because of our volunteers, the Bay View Community Center is an organization capable of providing the kinds of programming that meets the needs of the community.