Building Community: The Birmingham Community House

WRITER | NICOLETTE CHAMBERY
PHOTOS | GENE MEADOWS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

Enriching the Lives of Area Residents Since 1923

At the epicenter of the Birmingham community there lies a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and non-exclusive community house that has been bringing people together for nearly a century. What’s remarkable about the Birmingham Community House is the breadth of its programming and depth of its impact—all sustained by the charitable donations of those living in and around the region.

The Community House was started in 1923 as a way “to promulgate the social, civic, and philanthropic life of the village.” Program offerings were designed in the 1950s to facilitate growth in four distinct areas: personal, professional, philanthropic, and recreational. To meet this organizational goal, the House employs a highly competent and creative staff that contributes to its overall function and success. The Community House also allows other nonprofits to use its space for their meetings, including the Women’s Club, International Culture and Cuisine groups, and 12 others in the surrounding area.

Located in a historic suburb of Detroit, the town consists of about 20,000 people who are active in the community and engaged in bolstering the quality of life for area residents.

The Community House offers over 800 classes a year for individuals of all ages looking to learn a new skill in the following categories: art history, arts and creativity, cooking, fitness and yoga, games, health and wellness, home and garden, language, libations, music, photography, and travel. They also offer special interest programs, sponsored programs, and family-friendly programs including kids summer camps, self-defense classes for children, and classes for parents looking to invest in their children’s budding interests.

You can imagine the volume of people these diverse offerings attract and the money it would take to fund such an endeavor.  Some assume the organization is funded by the city, but that is not the case. The Community House relies on private donations to maintain its efficacy. To assist with these efforts, the Community House sponsors an annual house tour featuring seven Birmingham homes with distinctive interior design and architectural styles, sure to appeal to even the most critical eye. This is the biggest fundraiser the Community House operates, and it relies on a robust number of tour attendees to keep House programming thriving.

Now in its 30th year, the tour takes place on September 14 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and are available online at CommunityHouse.com. Tickets purchased the day of the event will be $45.

You can also visit this website to learn more about or donate to this organization, which has quite thoughtfully created a space for connection, development, and prosperity for any and all who wish to partake. I can’t think of a better agency to give to or a better way to spend a crisp fall day.

The Community House l 380 S. Bates St, Birmingham 48009 l (248) 644-5832 l CommunityHouse.com