Located in the newly renovated and revitalized former Woodside Church building, directly adjacent to the Mott Community College (MCC) campus, the Lenore Croudy Family Life Center (LCFLC) provides a variety of student services needed to improve success. “This facility was opened as a way to meet student need and insecurity,” says lead LCFLC social worker, Dinah Schaller. “We want to help remove any barriers to a successful education that a student could come across. This Center is for the basic needs of anyone in the Mott family.”
The LCFLC provides assistance with: food insecurity, child care, clothing, housing and transportation assistance, physical and mental health support, and emergency financial assistance. The facility also provides academic assistance to students by offering access to equipment (such as Chromebooks), Wi-Fi and school supplies (notebooks, pencils, etc.) in collaboration with the Green Initiatives Team (GRIT) at MCC.
After an $8 million renovation, the building features a large concert hall for gatherings and performance, multiple study/general areas, an expanded child care facility, a food pantry and Ellen’s Closet – a free clothing department for students to select career clothes for interviews, as well as medical scrubs and children’s clothing. The closet is named for Ellen Howe, a longtime Mott Board of Trustees member and former chair with a history of community involvement and activism, serving as a City of Flint police officer and director of multiple organizations, as well as president of the Flint YWCA and Flint Women’s Forum. “At first, the closet just held professional clothing, but it has expanded through donations to include clothing of all types for any who need it,” says Schaller. ?
Moving to its new location, the Mott Eats food pantry was able to expand to include more than boxed and canned goods. “We have space to keep frozen foods and to prepare meals for our community using fresh and local sources,” says Volunteer Coordinator, Vanessa Jones. “We work with Flint Fresh and our meals are USDA certified. During the pandemic, we delivered meals to those in need and offered curbside pickup for those looking for nutritious foods.” The pantry is open Monday-Thursday 9am to 4pm.
The LCFLC provides much more than physical goods. For those struggling with tuition, transportation or housing/rent assistance, the Center can provide much needed relief by connecting students to available programs and scholarship opportunities. The Center also has two part-time clinicians on staff to provide guidance and offers contact to numerous support groups for those struggling with social and personal issues.
“Mott Community College is interested and invested in the whole student,” adds Schaller. “We want everyone in the Mott community to know that we are here to help you find the health and security you need to continue your education and to succeed in all areas of life.”
The Lenore Croudy Family Life Center renovation is funded by a $3 million grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, proceeds from the sale of $3 million in voter-approved bonds, a $100,000 grant from the McFarlan Charitable Corporation/McFarlan Villages, and additional help from the Flint Child Health & Development Fund of the Foundation for Flint, A.G. Bishop Charitable Trust, Bruin Club of Genesee Co., The Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Stephanie & David Spina, Terry Crews and other community patrons.
Photography by Tim Jagielo
Nobody took a greater interest in the success of MCC and its students than Lenore Croudy.
An educator and administrator for Flint Community Schools for four decades, Croudy served on the Mott Community College Board of Trustees for a total of 29 years and as Board Chair for nearly 20.
Throughout her lifetime, Croudy acted as a champion for the needs of students and their families both locally and nationally as part of the Michigan Community College Association, the American Association of Community College Trustees, and the American Association of Community Colleges. Her tireless efforts helped make Mott Community College one of the nation’s best.
“Establishing a Family Life Center in Mrs. Croudy’s name honors her legacy to the fullest, by helping to reduce barriers and challenges that impede our students’ success.” – Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, MCC President