Church to provide a part-time arts and crafts program for teenagers who had been refused public schooling due to their mental retardation. A second site, Friendship Center, was opened at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, in 1965. In 1968 the two programs merged and incorporated as Day Activity Centers of Minneapolis, Inc. There were 35 clients living in their family homes and the program was open five hours per day, three days per week, September through May.
In 1973, the two sites consolidated at Holy Trinity where the program expanded to five days per week. By the mid-80’s, MWC served 84 clients and rather than arts and crafts, emphasis was on community integration and in-house vocational work programs. With that focus the organization changed its name to Metro Work Center, Inc. in 1987. By the 1990’s MWC’s clients had changed. Seventy-five percent lived in supported living facilities away from their family homes and persons with a secondary diagnosis of mental health and/or related conditions were more typical referrals than the young adult with a mental retardation diagnosis.
Today Metro Work Center continues to provide services for a diverse group of adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities . There are employment opportunities in the community as well as in-house. Our wide range of community activities continues to expand, adding yet another piece of the diversity puzzle to the mosaic of Longfellow Neighborhood in south Minneapolis.