On October 26, HOPE Community Services held a press conference to thank Federal, New York State, Westchester County, and New Rochelle elected officials and community leaders who have pledged a combined $2.7 million to enable them to open the new HOPE Community Center, and to kick off their Capital Campaign.
That day they extended their sincere gratitude to Congressman Jamaal Bowman, State Senator Natalia Fernandez, State Senator Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman Steve Otis, Assemblyman Amy Paulin, and the City of New Rochelle.
Since 1984, HOPE had operated out of the basement of St. Gabriel’s School where their Food Pantry, Community Kitchen, Housing Programs, and Outreach Services have provided millions of meals, as well as comfort and services, to thousands of individuals and families, with dignity and respect. In 2022, HOPE was notified that their long-term lease would not be renewed.
Following months of searching for a new space, Board Chair Lynnette Goldberg was introduced by a mutual acquaintance to Pat Procopio and Casa Calabria. Once Procopio heard of the plight, he knew there was only one thing to do — gift the building to HOPE.
The building, which had housed the Calabria Mutual Aid Society for over 50 years, needed to be brought up to code and reconfigured to support HOPE’s many services. The estimate for the project came in at a whopping $6 million, but under the leadership of Executive Director Sylvia Hamer, who has a long history in government, and a dedicated Board of Directors, $3.6 million has already been raised. The Individual Donor Campaign has already secured over $850,000 in donations from people who have long supported HOPE and understand the crucial work they do for the city of New Rochelle.
In his remarks, Assemblyman Otis said, “HOPE Community Services has been an indispensable provider of essential services for families in need for decades. Their new home will continue to enhance their great mission. Special thanks go to the Calabria Society for their leadership and donation. The HOPE Community Center Capital Campaign is vital to transform this valuable building and enable it to serve area families to the standards the organization has maintained all these years.”