Marian Center for Nonprofits closing its doors; service efforts will continue

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MILWAUKEE -- A group of Milwaukee buildings, one of which is more than a century old, have finally run their course. Doors are set to close at the Marian Center for Nonprofits in just a few months.

Marian Center for Nonprofits

Marian Center for Nonprofits

Surrounded by Valentine's Day decorations, members and volunteers with the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons, are having one of their last celebrations in their office space at the Marian Center.

"The ongoing maintenance is something that cannot be continued," said the Executive Director of the Marian Center for Nonprofits, Charlane O'Rourke-Hertig.

O'Rourke-Hertig explains that the buildings which are a corporate ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, are no longer able to be sustained.

Charlane O'Rourke-Hertig

Charlane O'Rourke-Hertig

"The Sisters of St. Francis Assisi have contributed over $1 million since it's been a nonprofit center and that cannot continue. We don't have the funds available to maintain that building in the way it needs to be maintained," said O'Rourke-Hertig.

With the oldest building dating back to 1904, the three structures which house more than 60 nonprofit tenants are showing their age.

"Recently, the heat in the chapel went out, elevators, repairs, maintenance," said O'Rourke-Hertig.

Marian Center for Nonprofits

Marian Center for Nonprofits

The buildings which have a rich history in the community, now serve many purposes.

"We have a gymnasium and auditorium that has public event space," said O'Rourke-Hertig.

A space for groups to make meals for seniors, and for those who provide other services.

Marian Center for Nonprofits

Marian Center for Nonprofits

"Syndrome association, we have a mindfulness community, we have various religious organizations, veterans organizations," said O'Rourke-Hertig.

Doors may be closing July 1st, but the service efforts will go on.

"No matter where the nonprofits are housed, they will continue," said O'Rourke-Hertig.

O'Rourke-Hertig says many of the nonprofits have already found other spaces throughout the area. As for the three buildings, the sisters do not have plans yet for what is next but strongly feel they are not considering selling it.