MCSA turns 25

By Mary Mason

The Muscatine Center for Social Action held a 25-year celebration on Thursday, September 22. The evening included tours of the facility and a presentation by members of the community, previous directors, and individuals involved in the evolution of the organization over the past 25 years.

MCSA is known to many in the community as the homeless shelter, though that is the tip of the iceberg of services and benefits provided by the organization.

Dick Maeglin learned that with the YMCA closing in 1991, seven men would be without a place to live after the dorms closed. Maeglin bought the building, providing a stable living place for the men and beginning the journey of MCSA (originally the Muscatine Center for Strategic Action).

Programming has changed and grown over the years.

The building has been remodeled and improved over time. The most recent changes include the kitchen. The lower level kitchen has been overhauled and is now certified for commercial use. The kitchen is used to feed approximately 80 community members each week through Loaves and Fishes, and this summer was used as a lunch site for the United Way Summer Feeding Program.

The upstairs has been repainted, helping to create a welcome environment for the 35 men who live there.

Most recently, the family housing area was announced as one of 25 worldwide recipients of the Annie Sloan Interior, Ltd. grant. Each room is being repainted and receiving new bedding and supplies. The rooms are designed to be a comfortable place for a family to stay. Each room comes complete with two double beds and shelves to hold supplies. A bedspread covers each bed that the residents are able to take with them when they leave the shelter and move on.

MCSA also operates an offsite domestic violence shelter that provides a safe place to women and children who are not able to stay in their previous environment.

Any resident who would like more information about MCSA should call 563-264-3278.