The Gateway-Longview Family Resource Center finally will get the much-needed funds it has been waiting on for several years to make upgrades ranging from boiler repairs to new windows.
Monday, State Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy announced the release of $200,000 in state funds for the East Ferry Street center.
The money could not come at a better time, said officials of the center, which serves about 2,500 people on Buffalo’s East Side.
The building is in need of a lot of critical infrastructure upgrades, including repairs to the boiler, new windows, piping and a new sump pump, electrical upgrades and a new parking lot.
“With this $200,000 ... we’ll be able to make important upgrades to the Family Resource Center over the next few months,” Catharine Miles-Kania, Gateway-Longview’s vice president of organizational advancement, wrote.
More than three years ago, prior to Kennedy taking office, the funding was announced and was “technically” awarded to Gateway-Longview, said Kennedy spokesman John Machowiak. The money was funneled to the state’s Dormitory Authority but got stuck in the bureaucracy, and Gateway-Longview was unable to access it, Kennedy said.
That stalled work at the aging building.
“The state was basically dragging its feet,” Kennedy said.
In addition, the funds were at risk of being “swept” back into the budget and reappropriated to organizations in other parts of the state.
Gateway-Longview officials reached out to Kennedy, Miles-Kania said, crediting him with partnering with the organization to secure the money.
The Family Resource Center provides a variety of programs, serving at-risk children and families through special-education and intensive support services.
The programs run the gamut of family services, from those serving young children, to youth to parents.
There’s a gym open to youngsters after school, arts and crafts workshops, help with homework, a computer lab and daily tutoring, officials said.
Preventive and intervention services for youth and adults include parenting skill development classes, grief and loss support groups, gang awareness and prevention counseling, substance abuse support services and on-site and home-based counseling.
The center also offers educational support and skills development opportunities, including job fairs, GED classes, financial education classes, vocational skill development training, tutoring services and a library/computer lab. It also hosts the Difference Ministries Step Team, KRUMP dancing is available, as are African, hip-hop and adult dance classes. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts troops meet there, and it hosts computer and exercise classes for senior citizens as well as swimming lessons and sessions.
Contact the center at 783-3100 for a complete listing of activities.