We are UMMA, a nurturing community of volunteers, partners and supporters who are helping people of all backgrounds transform their lives and communities in Lake County, Illinois. At our center in Waukegan, we offer free GED classes, tutoring, basic needs support including our food pantry and clothing drives, and our CareerLink program which helps clients get into living-wage employment.
The UMMA Center opened its doors in June 2004 in a facility located in the center of downtown Waukegan. It was and still is, one of the few educational centers of its kind in the area, serving low-income individuals of every race, ethnicity, and religion who seek education as a way to improve their lives. In just two short years, the UMMA center expanded to offer weekly computer courses, twice-weekly GED training courses, monthly financial management seminars, daily tutoring, and a full-time food pantry.
Soon after its establishment, the UMMA Center joined efforts with local community outreach programs to expand its programming towards overall community development. The UMMA center began collaborating efforts with the Allendale Association, the Waukegan Pavilion Nursing Home, the Lake County Park District and Interfaith Refugee Immigrant Ministries in the city of Chicago. In doing so, the UMMA center has been able to make a difference in the lives of the underserved Lake County residence, local elderly and the Somali Refugee population in the Chicago-land area.