The Cornerstone Community Center is a 21,000 square-foot facility in West Tulsa designed to serve a variety of community needs.
Flanked by Tulsa community leaders and his Board of Directors, Cornerstone Community Center Executive Director Willard Jones cut the ceremonial Grand Opening ribbon in September 2012. Show are (from left) Donald Pray of the Bernsen Foundation; Jones; Camp Fire USA Executive Director Bobbie Henderson; Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith; and Mary Ann Hille, Trustee and Co-Founder of The Hille Foundation, Rev. Wendell Tisadale and Rev. Phil Taylor.
After more than seven years of planning, fund raising and construction, the Cornerstone Community Center has become a reality in one of West Tulsa’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Designed to house a variety of proven programs and agencies, the Center will offer services including family and youth counseling, job skills training, food and clothing distribution, health and dental services, mental health assistance and after-school programs.
The Community Center, located at 4122 West 55th Place South, is the centerpiece of the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project (GCCDP), an initiative designed to revitalize a transitional – and often overlooked – area of the city.
The turnaround actually began in the 1990s when drug task force agents arrested several "drug kingpins" - or drug-trafficking bosses - and the U.S. Attorney's Office worked to acquire confiscated properties. Much of the land was donated to Habitat for Humanity, which has since built nearly 100 new homes in the area. Several additional parcels of land – including the site on which the Community Center now sits – were donated to the Greater Cornerstone Project.
Agencies initially offering programs from within the Community Center included Morton Health Clinic, Camp Fire USA, Counseling and Recovery Services of Oklahoma, DVIS/Call Rape, Family and Children’s Services, Goodwill Industries/TulsaWORKS, and Life Strategies International. Free food and clothing will be offered through partnerships with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and other agencies. The Community Center has also partnered with the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross to open the facility as a disaster shelter in event of storms, power outages and excessive heat or cold. With a full-sized gymnasium, an A/V equipped Community Room and a commercial kitchen, the facility is also available to community groups and civic groups for meetings, retreats and special events.
"Now the neighborhood is filled with hope”’ says Willard Jones, Executive Director of GCCDP. “It's full of hope for the future. There's hope for the children, and there is a brighter tomorrow in this entire service area, this entire side of town called west Tulsa."
Volunteer and programming opportunities abound at Cornerstone Community Center as it pursues its mission to …”Provide a safe, welcoming environment for a variety of informational, cultural and recreational programs – while also serving as a functional point of delivery for agencies which provide medical/dental care, social services, food and clothing distribution, and after school (including adult/job training and other low or no-cost opportunities) for residents of West Tulsa.”