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Historical Highlights

Loading up for Camp1903: Louisville Settlement Home started by the Woman’s Board of City Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at 834 East Jefferson St.

1908: Moved to larger quarters at 809 East Main St.; renamed Wesley House in memory of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.

1909: Hosted one of the first well-baby clinics, then known as the Baby Milk Fund Association.

1910: First full-time worker employed to work with boys.

1917: Joined the Welfare League of Louisville, which later became the Community Chest and then Metro United Way.

1925: Moved to present location at 801-805 East Washington St.

1928: Gymnasium added.

1934: Held first summer camp program at Lake Louisvilla, Kentucky; known as Camp Merry Ledges

1944: New camp built at Lake Louisvilla due to burning of first building; new program started in house and camp.

1947: Extension program started for girls in adjoining neighborhood: Green Barn, then Grace Immanuel Church on Story Ave.

1952: Property given for playground at the corner of Franklin and Shelby streets.

1953: Playground opened; Wesley House celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Dinner at Camp Merry Ledges1956: Forty-four acres of land bought for new camp near Corydon, Indiana.

1957: Extension program included coed teen groups.

1958: Lodge built at Camp Merry Ledges, named Howard Lodge in honor of Elizabeth Howard; membership in American Camping Association received.

1960: “Yellow Creek” day camp started; continued until 1971.

1964: Day care program started.

1965: Building at 809 East Washington St. purchased for program expansion.

1965-1967: Wesley House was delegate agency of the Community Action Program.

1965-1970: Vista, a domestic Peace Corps program, brought to Louisville through Wesley House.

1971: New River Front Lodge built at Camp Merry Ledges.

1972: Connector added between buildings at 805 and 809 East Washington St.

1973: Sponsored Knopp-Melton Recreation Center in south Louisville.

1976: Started “Project Work,” a program to help youth stay in school.

1977: Began Rocking Chair Years, a program for the homebound, elderly, and handicapped.

1980: Purchased property at 815 E. Washington St.; first used for Wesley Wear House, it then became Sunshine House for senior citizens and an apartment for staff.

1980: Wesley Wear House, a gently used clothing store, was begun by volunteers to provide financial support to Wesley House.

1983: Wesley Wear House moved to 743 East Washington St.

1984: Sold Knopp-Melton facility after city relocated residents.

1986: Edison House, where Thomas Edison lived in 1866, was sponsored by Wesley House; included a small museum and tearoom.

1989: Wesley Wear House moved to 1001 East Washington St.; building purchased with proceeds of Knopp-Melton sale.

1991: Changed name to Wesley House Community Services to reflect broader reach of services; youth program shifted focus from recreation to activities that addressed the changing needs of youth in the community.

1995: Youth Brigade Academy launched; mentoring program uses drill activities to teach discipline and personal responsibility.

1996: Started Violence Abatement Program, a school-based early-intervention program for at-risk youth.

1997: Stage in gymnasium converted to bi-level youth computer and learning center.

1998:   Dr. Renee Campbell becomes President/CEO

1998:  Implement a Threat Assessment Procedure

1999:     Recognized as Family Friendly Organization by Business/Family Partnership

1999:  Implemented Tuition Reimbursement Procedures

1999:   Implemented Arts Integrated Program Model in Partnership with Kentucky Center for the Arts “Arts Reach Program”

1999:  Sold the building at 815 E. Washington Street

1999:  1st. Seniors Health Fair

1999:  Employee Fund Giving to Wesley House Plan implemented

1999:  Implemented 1st Second Shift Childcare Services

1999:  Implemented Payroll Direct Deposit

2001:  Wesley House became a forerunner along with Metro United Way and the Center for Women and Families partnered to implement the Louisville Asset Building Coalition

2002: Playground behind Wesley House redeveloped as Wesley United Community Park, which will serve as a common “backyard” for residents of the adjacent neighborhoods.

2002: Youth Program Academy’s “Rest in Peace Project” implemented

2002:  Youth Brigade Academy’s True Love Waits Program implemented

2000:  9/11 - Sgt. Brown deployed to Iraq and physically leaves WHCS

2003:  Sgt. Brown returns/volunteers with YBA

2004:  Promotional Informational Video developed

2005:  Developed Externship Partnership with Spalding University School Leadership Education Program

2006:  Established a partnership between the Youth Brigade Academy and Girls Growth and Development Program in Tamale, Ghana (Youth Brigade Academy-Tamale)

2006: Wesley Wear House moved to 1501 Story Avenue

2006: Wesley House Community Services moved to Preston Highway United Methodist Church at 5114 Preston Highway

2006: Sold the buildings at 803-813 E. and 1001 E. Washington Street

2006: Developed partnership with Jefferson County Public School English as a Second Language Program and GED

2007:  Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA) continues at Wesley House

2007:   Wesley House continues to be a STARS rated participant.

2008:  Wesley House WesKids Child Development Site II established at Garrs Lane

2009:   Reduced expenses by 10%

2009:   Received funding from United Parcel Services

2009:   Increased store space for “The Wear@Wesley House Community Services.

2009:   Youth involved with “Big Brother/Big Sister

2009:  Advertising of programs on Insight Cable TV.  

2010    The Muhammad Ali Scholars partner and establish Health Foods Program in collaboration with New Roots to promote Fresh Stops Fresh Produce Program

2010    The Muhammad Ali Scholars implement a Work Day for Peace at Wesley House Community Services

2010:   Literacy Boot Camp established with the assistance of Dr. Vita McClain

2010:   General Electric remodeling of agency lobby.

2011:   Ben Ruiz and Dr. Renee Campbell formed LaCamara at Wesley House Community Services.  (Chamber of People of All Colors)

2011    A Peace Garden sponsored by the Muhammad Ali Institute is produced.

2011:   Wesley House approved as a Supplemental Education Site

2011:   Wesley House purchased Preston Highway United Methodist Church

2012:   Two WesKid Chilcare reequinized by Metro united Way for classroom excellence. The Childcare received a stipend for $2,500 for equipment from Metro United Way.

2012:   Adventuras Math and Scinece program was implemented during Youth Out of School Time.

2012:   TJMaxx donates funds for carpet in The Wear Gently Used Clothing Store.

2012:   TJMaxx provides a representative on The Wear’s Advisory Committee.

2012:  GMeals provides meals for WesKids Childcare

2012:   Legal Secretaries of Louisville, Stoll, Keenon-Ogden chair Wesley Walk for Others

2013:   Pacesetter Church funding strategy began with Epiphany United Methodist Church being the lead Pacesetter

2013:   Bellarmine University Nursing Students provide health education, hand washing and blood pressure screening.

2013:   Pacesetter Churches continue to include Bethany, City Road, Cooper Chapel, Epworth, Garrs and Mosaic United Methodist Church

2013:   Creative Alliance Marketing Volunteer spearheaded marketing research on behalf of Wesley House.

2013:  “The Wear” began marketing its $5.00 Bag Day through Kentucky Refugee Ministry and expanded the day to be offered to other agencies.

2013:   Dr. Campbell, President/CEO was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the Center for Women and Families.

2013:   Dr. Campbell was named a “Daughter of Greatness” by the Muhammad Ali Center. 

2013:   Arts Integrated Programs begin at Wesley House.

2013:   Dr. Campbell provides Family Domestic Violence and Abuse training for Clergy members on the Kentucky District United Methodist Church.

2013:   Dr. Campbell featured in the book “100 Fascinating Louisville Women.” 

2013:   Bick’s Boutique Designer Clothes are added to Wesley House

2013:   Dr. Campbell is a delegate to the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women, Summit on Women and Girls and Domestic Violence in New York City.

2014:   Dr. Campbell spearheads the Okinawa Victims of Military Rape Tribute.

2014:   Mayor’s Day of Giving resulted in Clean Up, Fence Repair and Painting.

2014:   WAVE TV produces a free public service announcement for Wesley House’s Youth Brigade Academy program.

2014:   Ubuntu Day of Service for where 250 United Methodist from all over the United States visited Wesley House and volunteered.

2014:   Dr. Campbell introduced Mayor Fischer at the opening Plenary of the United Methodist Women’s Assembly held in Louisville, KY.

2014:   Dr. Campbell spoke at the United Methodist Women Assembly Social Justice Walk.

2014:   Wesley House became the Focus Agency for the United Methodist Women’s Southern Indiana Jurisdiction.

2014:   Wesley House closed its West Kids Childcare II located at Garrs Lane United Methodist Church.

2014:   Annual Fashion Show continued with 24 models.

2015:   American Sign Language is added to the childcare curriculum.

2015:   Gymnastics is added to the childcare curriculum

2015:   A grant for English and Spanish as a Second Language was funded by the National United Methodist Women. 

2015:   Kosair Charities granted Wesley House $25,000 for renovating the childare and water proofing the basement.

2016:   Wesley House successfully completed renovations of the childcare center and water proofing the basement.