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Teen center 'Hub' of Peabody community

News editor

All roads lead to a hub — in this case, the Hub, a not-for-profit youth center in downtown Peabody.

Director Isaac Good, the only paid employee, said the purpose of the center is to be a safe haven for youth of Peabody and surrounding counties.

“It’s a place of respect with no drugs or alcohol,” Good said. “It lets kids build relationship with others kids and non-parent adults. We teach respect and values.”

Volunteer Lane Markham said he came to the Hub all four years he was in high school. Now he serves as an adult volunteer.

“The Hub is a safe haven for kids,” Markham said. “I think it has become a saving grace for those who need it.”

Participants at the center talk with mentors, make connections and network with people of integrity, interact and build lifetime attachments with old and newly made friends, get a bite to eat if there is no food at home, and have a place to hang out and have fun.

“The kids normally have free reign and I try to have a specific event each week — movie night, pool tournament, board game nights, and dances,” Good said.

He said the center typically focuses on eight to 10th graders, but sixth graders through seniors are welcome.

Unfortunately, the Hub may be forced to close because of declining funds.

“The Hub, which opened in April 2006, will never make a profit,” Doe Ann Hague, co-founder with her late husband, Dale, said. The only income being generated is through minimal food purchases from kids and any donations given or grants received.

Expenses consist of salary for director Isaac Good, utilities, programming expenses, and

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insurance, which runs between $3,000-3,500 a month, Hague said.

She so believes in the Hub’s benefit to children and the community, she has been paying all expenses not covered by store income.

“My (late) husband, Dale, was able to support the expenses through his job but since his unexpected death and my unexpected early retirement, I just can’t keep making all the payments by myself,” Hague said. The Hub is staying afloat month-to-month financially.

Therein lies the dilemma. A not-for-profit 5013C entity is not an “owned” business. No one involved — founders, volunteers, board members, or patrons — can make any sort of profit whatsoever.

Hague and her husband took out a $100,000 loan to purchase and renovate the property at 118 N. Walnut St. for the not-for-profit youth center for kids from Peabody and surrounding towns.

“We don’t own the building or any of its contents,” Hague said. “We’ve never made a salary or profit from it.”

They have donated items, equipment, or money themselves, and received same from community supporters.

Peabody resident Tim Caldwell wants the center to succeed.

“The Hub is the only place in town for our kids to hang out,” Caldwell said. He has stepped up to assist the four-person board to find ways to foster more community interest and innovative fundraising opportunities.

“I’m huge on networking and helping shoulder the load,” Caldwell said. “The board needs additional people involved to help planning, fundraising and supervision.”

Caldwell’s own children regularly hang out at the Hub. He plans to have a more physical presence at the center as Good could us more adult volunteers.

Both Hague and Caldwell have heard that patrons of the center, which is always supervised while inside, have been less than perfect while outside unsupervised.

Staff and volunteers encourage good behavior but can’t be outside to supervise.

“When youth go out the door, like a regular business, we don’t have the ability to monitor them,” Caldwell said.

“We are going to explain to them that their actions outside the Hub could have a negative impact on the center, and could possibly have an impact on donations because of it.”

The Hub’s hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday to midnight, always with an adult volunteer in attendance.

For more information or to make a donation, volunteer, or become a board member, contact Hague at (316) 772-2162.

Last modified Oct. 25, 2018

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