By Terry Rogers
The Milford Community Center recently learned that the building they have inhabited for over six years on NE Front Street has been placed for sale. The non-profit will continue its efforts as normal as the building is on the market but Andrew Scott of Hearts Unlimited, Inc., knows that if the building is sold, it will be up to the new new owners to decide whether or not to continue to rent to the organization.
“Our center supports more than 2,000 people in a variety of ways, from after-school programs, ESL services, sports and more,” Mr. Scott said. “We provide a food pantry, diaper pantry, emergency supplies for the homeless, showers, laundry equipment, computer access and assistance with job applications. Many of those who use our Center are very low-income or homeless which means they have no transportation to access services in other areas of town. We have a lot of walk-in clients who depend on us being here.”
Landlord Don Fisher, who the Center says has always supported them, has decided to sell the building as he is retiring. According to Scott, Mr. Fisher is willing to work with the Center as much as possible to let them remain, but the Center will need a significant amount of money to do so. In an effort to purchase the building themselves, the Center has started raising the $400,000 necessary to do so. Scott has created a GoFundMe with a goal of $50,000 that they will need to start the buying process. In 11 days, the fund has grown to $1,625, but there is still a long way to go.
“Our goal is to help adults get back on their feet and to help children grow,” Mr. Scott said. “All monies collected by the Center stay in the community and all funds raised for the building fund will be used to purchase our current location.”
The building that currently houses the Milford Community Center was the home of Fisher Appliances and Furniture for many years. The company was owned by Mr. Fisher’s father, Edwin “Ed” Fisher, who passed away in 1993. The store began as an appliance store, but eventually began selling records, furniture and electronics. After Fisher Appliances closed, the building eventually became home to the Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club. After the Boys and Girls Club relocated to a new building on Airport Road, the Milford Community Center rented the facility and has remained there since that time.
The Center is planning to hold several fundraisers and other events in an effort to raise the money they will need to purchase the building. Scott says that the Center needs as much support as possible in order to raise the funds necessary to remain in their current location. The GoFundMe can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/save-our-community-center. Anyone who wants to hold a fundraiser or donate to the building fund can learn more by calling 302-725-0770.
“My wife, Mayra, and I are founders of Hearts Unlimited, Inc., and we truly thank you for all your help,” Pastor Richard Portalin said. “Our building can be sold at any time, so we are hoping to be the ones who buy it. If the building is sold, everything will be placed in storage while we search for a new location. We really want to remain downtown because our clientele is based here. We are also a Code Purple location, providing shelter to people who are down on their luck when the weather drops below freezing. We want to keep providing those services. I do want to say that even if the building is sold and we cannot purchase it, we will continue doing what we do, and we will find a new location in Milford. We just really hope we can remain where we are.”
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