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A HISTORY OF OUR SAVIOUR CENTER - Part 3: Our Mission Thrives

Join us as we share the story of how Church of Our Saviour’s largest ministry came into fruition in this three-part series of the History of Our Saviour Center.

The Cleaver Wellness Clinic was built at OSC in 1999, a few feet away from the food pantry and distribution center on the back lot of Immanuel Church. Dorris Dann turned to Dr. Steven Sample, Church of Our Saviour parishioner and the president of USC, and his colleague, Dr. Ignacio de Artola, the vice-chair of clinical affairs at USC, to suggest candidates for a medical director, nurse practitioner, part-time pediatrician, and student interns, and the Cleaver Family Wellness Clinic was up and running. The beautiful Spanish style building houses 8,000 square feet of clinic space and medical offices on the ground floor, and administrative office space on the second floor.

Another vision of Dorris’s came to fruition in 2006. With grants from the state of California, the Church of Our Saviour’s endowment, and the generosity of grantors and donors, a 16,000-square-foot building to be called the Kids Campus was built. Comprising six classrooms, a computer lab, an art studio, a middle-school sized gymnasium as well as a kitchen, year-round youth development programs now encourage social and emotional learning through reinforced academics, arts, athletics, health, and community responsibility programs.

Dorris Dann Kids Campus (left) and Our Saviour Center Spanish-style building (right)

After Dorris retired at the age of 82, OSC advisory board chairman Rich Hill became executive director in 2009. Rich retired in 2012, and Rex Botengan became executive director. Rex, a former youth program manager, resource development manager, and center administrator, had been a member of the team since 1992. After 25 years in the OSC family, he stepped down to provide his expertise to a family-owned business in 2017.

Jane Fall, a longtime COS parishioner whose career had previously been in the corporate sector, took over as executive director in 2017 and held this title until the end of 2021. During Jane’s tenure, it was decided that one of our community partners was better suited to ensure the ongoing success of the Cleaver Wellness Clinic. Guided by the expertise of parishioners and members of the advisory board, in 2021 the Clinic was sold to the East Valley Community Health Clinic. All of the Clinic’s staff kept their jobs, and Vera Cleaver’s mission continues to live on at the OSC campus in the enhanced services provided for the community each day.

Today and for the past 37 years, Our Saviour Center has provided twice-weekly Food Pantry distributions, Youth Programming, and Emergency Temporary Housing for El Monte and surrounding communities within the San Gabriel Valley. We are grateful for the ongoing support of Church of Our Saviour and look forward to helping thousands more children, families, and seniors achieve stability and self-sufficiency for many, many more years to come.

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