Oak Park

Oak Park

Oak Park Center is a hub for quality support resources that enrich the academic, social, and emotional success of residents living in the Near North Side neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Oak Park Center focuses on the spirit of youth and families in the Near North neighborhood by offering exciting opportunities and vital resources for youth in grades kindergarten through 12th, parents, grandparents and families as a whole.

Oak Park Center has been a gathering place for the community since 1937. Today, we're helping to attack racial disparities in academic achievement while supporting the needs of historically underestimated, isolated, and underserved adults, youth and families in our area. Oak Park Center is uniquely positioned to address issues facing North Minneapolis because of its highly visible, centrally located facility, which has provided community services for over 75 years. We strive to build strong relationships with families through the programs we offer and the community outreach activities we sponsor. 

We currently work with youth, parents, individuals and families, providing quality services, including afterschool programs focusing on S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), college and career preparation, computer classes, monthly food and produce giveaways and programs like Boys Scouts, Junior Entrepreneurs, Parent Network, and the Crisis Nursery.

At Oak Park Center we believe that by working together, our neighborhood can be free of violence and we can create a culture where youth and adults help one another, more children graduate from college and where adults and families are thriving in the community.

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Our Programs

  • Summer Programs

    With summer programs at four neighborhood centers, our work with youth from kindergarten to 8th grade continues throughout the entire year.

    Whether learning from professional artists-in-residence at Pillsbury House + Theatre or stretching their athletic ability at Brian Coyle Center, PUC kids continue to gain competence in the Six C curriculum, while having great summer fun. Field trips to museums and water parks, nature walks, and special projects make summer programs a special time for kids at our agency.

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  • Crew

    Pillsbury United Communities’ Youth Action Crew bridges the gap in afterschool programming between 6th graders and teens with a service-learning program specially designed for youth in 6th to 8th grades.

    In CREW, which stands for Creativity, Respect, Employment, and Wisdom, students gain leadership skills through working inter-generationally, as they did on a story-telling project in collaboration with the Minnesota History Center. They discuss career and college preparation and, when successful, are given priority enrollment in FANS.

    In addition, CREW kids have worked on community beautification, hunger and nutrition, as well as fine arts like puppet making, and more.

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  • Teen Center

    This new program at Oak Park Center includes health and nutrition education through the Teen Café as well as media production opportunities, college prep assistance, and youth entrepreneurship programs.

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  • Parent Support Outreach Project (PSOP)

    The Parent Support Outreach Project (PSOP) offers voluntary, supportive, strengths-based, family-driven services to families who are at risk for child protection services due to high levels of stress or crisis. In addition, PSOP:

    • Assists families in building connections with relatives, friends and community members.

    • Supports families in their efforts to provide healthy, nurturing homes for their children.

    • Access to a flexible fund to help families meet their needs, such as rental assistance, car repairs, clothing and grocery vouchers, school supplies, youth activities, and utility bills.

    • Provides funds for therapeutic services such as in-home family counseling, in-home parent education, or assistance with outpatient counseling or chemical dependency treatment costs.

    For more information contact, Cathy Gilbert at 612.377.7000 or Kelly Lecua at 612.824.0708.

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  • Crisis Nursery

    The Crisis Nursery Program is available to parents experiencing and overwhelming level of stress from daily life challenges. Our goal is to reduce the stress level by providing emergency childcare and respite services, while offering a resources to ensure both parent and children are healthy and well. Our Crisis Nursery is a community-based, family supported program that provides services to parents and children, aged 6 weeks to 12 years old, in times of crisis or stress. Services include short-term daycare placements, and information and referral. For assistance call: (612) 302-3500

    If you are in an abusive situation or you fear becoming abusive to yourself or your children, call 911 immediately.

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  • Tax Assistance (seasonal)

    Pillsbury United Communities partners annually with, AccountAbility Minnesota to provide free tax assistance to low to moderate-income individuals from late January thru April 15th. All taxes are prepared for free by volunteers who go through extensive training and are certified by the IRS. For each person listed on the return they need to bring their Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) card or letter, a picture I.D., and income statements. Visit AccountAbilityMN.org for more details.

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  • Community Café

    We offer free, hot meals in our community café prepared daily by experienced chefs to provide an opportunity for community members to build relationships and access needed resources.

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  • Public Allies

    This 10-month, full-time program includes an apprenticeship at a local nonprofit organization, weekly training on nonprofit mechanics and values-based leadership, individualized coaching and a supportive cohort of 25 diverse, young leaders. Public Allies earn a $1,500 monthly stipend and receive a $5,550 education award after successful completion of the program. This AmeriCorps program runs September-June.

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  • Northstar Computer Training

    Northstar Computer Training builds the basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online. This training consists of eight self-guided modules - Basic Computer Use, Internet, Windows Operating System, Mac OS, Email, Microsoft Word, Social Media, and Microsoft Excel.

    Individuals who successfully pass the assessments at approved sites, will obtain the Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate. This is an industry recognized credential for employment and there is no cost to complete the online assessments. For more information, contact Alan Stovall at 612.377.7000.

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