HISTORY OF CASA DE AMIGOS IN MIDLAND
“to improve the quality of life throughout the community by helping people help themselves.”
Casa de Amigos was founded in 1964 by members of St. Mark’s Methodist Church as a community outreach to the east side of Midland. The group first surveyed the area to establish the need, then initiated programming in a small, abandoned grocery store building on North Dallas Street. The program became ecumenical in approach when members of other churches were invited to serve on the Board of Directors. The first President of the Board of Directors was Mrs. Kathryn Tyra.
With professional planning and program activities offered for the community, the often overcrowded quarters at Casa de Amigos’ small building resulted in a second site in 1968 and then a third building was added in 1975. In 1978, all the programs were moved to 1101 East Garden Lane, which was donated anonymously.
Two very generous grants in 1984 and 1988 from The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, allowed for remodeling of the agency’s building and expansion to its present size of nearly 20,000 square feet. This includes a library area, four classrooms, a family life education center equipped with a teaching kitchen, a child care area, senior citizen activities area with a serving kitchen and two activity rooms, space for health, social services, and individual offices for administrative and program staff.
Casa de Amigos was accepted, and has been approved annually since 1973, as a United Way of Midland member agency (now program provider). Casa de Amigos is also supported by several foundations, individuals, churches and companies.
Casa de Amigos’ outreach has helped many people over the years. Currently, almost 4,000 people are served annually. Agency programs are grouped into four categories: Senior Services, Health & Wellness, Education, and Social Services. Employed staff and volunteers serve side-by-side to offer programs for anyone who desires assistance. An underlying philosophy has evolved which encourages practical education and self-help activities.
The main focus of Casa de Amigos continues to be “Helping People Help Themselves