Welcoming new neighbors, building community

In April, New Moms Oak Park Center and Clare Place opened their doors to the community, inviting us in to see their beautiful new building at 206 Chicago Ave.

The new location provides 18 permanent supportive homes for previously homeless families with young children, plus space for community programs and an outdoor playground.

“For more than 35 years, New Moms’ mission has been to interrupt the cycle of poverty for young moms and their children by offering life-changing housing, job training, and family support services,” says Laura Zumdahl, New Moms President and CEO. “We are excited to expand our capacity to provide holistic services that result in deep and lasting change for the families we serve.”

A growing partnership

At April’s open house celebration, we shared a storytime hour with families in the light-filled community space on the ground floor. We also toured some of the one- and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors, where visitors wrote welcoming notes for the families who would be moving in.

Children’s Outreach and Programming Specialist Jenny Jackson (pictured) says she looks forward to making more visits—and introducing the new families to Dole Branch, their closest library location.

And for the second year, we’re partnering to bring storytimes and resources out into the community, with the Pop-Up Library in the Parks series.

Pop-Up Library in the Parks

Through September, the library’s Book Bike is popping up at parks around Oak Park, to engage families, daycares, preschools, and community organizations that support families with young children. It’s a collaboration between the library, the Collaboration for Early Childhood, the Park District of Oak Park, and New Moms.

  • June 11: 10-11 am | Maple Park
  • June 18: 3:30-4:30 pm | Lindberg Park
  • July 9: 10-11 am | Taylor Park
  • July 23: 3:30-4:30 pm | Andersen Park
  • August 13: 10-11 am | Fox Park
  • August 20: 3:30-4:30 pm | Euclid Park
  • September 17: 3:30-4:30 pm | Field Park

All dates are Tuesdays, weather permitting. Best for families with kids ages 0-5, daycares, and preschools. No registration required. Join us, and tell your friends and neighbors!

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