ABOUT US!

History

Incorporated in April 1951, Friendship House began as a cooperative effort by the American Baptist Church and the local Council of Churches.

Our first facility, a Quonset hut donated by Bradley University and dubbed “Operation Friendship House”, generated community excitement and served as both missionary residence and recreation center.

The Friendship House Board took a leap of faith in 1957, securing the former Grace Presbyterian Church building at 800 NE Madison Avenue, acquiring ten 

times the amount of program space. By 1963, Friendship House of Christian Service had grown to serve nearly 150 families and provide over 23,000 contacts.

Then, with the growth of services and need, in the mid-1970’s, Friendship House needed to create a new space that would allow for that growth for the years to come and the former church building was taken down and a new building was erected in its place, complete with a commercial kitchen, offices, meeting space, classrooms and a full-size gymnasium.  Today, that building is the home of all of the amazing services that Friendship House provides with our complete wrap-around services.

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OUR TEAM

Hello! The Peoria Friendship House Team is ready to serve you! Check out our team below and find out why they love to serve the Greater Peoria Community! 

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Marcellus Sommerville

President/CEO

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Cortney Foster 

Director of Operation

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Chip Bates

Director of Food Pantry Services

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Catalina Zavala 

Director of La Familia

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Cookie Williams-Walker

Director of Programs/Programming 

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Amber Nelson 

Director of S.T.E.A.M.S Outreach 

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Adrianne Streitmatter 

S.T.E.A.M.S Academy Instructor 

PMP Mentor Coordinator 

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Jasmine Lamon

S.T.E.A.M.S Academy Instructor 

PMP Mentor Coordinator 

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Shelby Eitenmiller

Social Media Marketing Manager

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Taz Bates

Pantry Assistant 

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Valeria Arellano 

S.T.E.A.M.S Academy Assistant 

Front Desk

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Ke'Asia Gwinn

S.T.E.A.M.S Academy Assistant

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Taya Bates

S.T.E.A.M.S Academy Assistant 

The Peoria Friendship House 
Board of Directors

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Bob Woolsey

President

Jones Bros.

Email: bob@jonesbros.com 

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Dalton Mellon

Vice President

David Vaughan Investments

Email: dalton@dviinc.com

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Art Oakford

Member

Emeritus

Email: ajoakford50@aol.com

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Pat Lavery

Member

Caterpillar - Retired 

Email: pat@traction.IIc

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Hedy Elliot

Member

Peoria Public Schools 

Email: hedelliott@hotmail.com 

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LaMar Anderson

Member

Eureka College

Email: landerson@eureka.edu

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Terry Taylor

Member

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Bridget Booker

Member

Reign Construction Inc. 

Email: bridget@reignconstructioninc.com 

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Wendy Mitchell

Member

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Rick Gaa

Member

Louisville Slugger Sports Complex

Email: rgaa@sluggerpeoria.com 

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Michael Unruh

Member

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Miguel Ramirez

Member

OSF Orthopaedics 

Email: maramirez09@gmail.com

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Heather Sexton

Member

Junior Achievement of Central Illinois  

Email: heather.sexton@ja.org

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Jonathan Gladstone

Member

Caterpillar 

Email: Gladstone_Jonathan_R@cat.com

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Rachelle Cummings Schilling

Member

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Kendra Belk

Member

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Andrew Parmelee

Member

PNC Private Bank Market Leader

Email: TBD