Hope Center set to open next month, aiming to reduce poverty in northwest Dayton

DAYTON — Finishing touches are being completed at the Hope Center, a new community center designed with a goal to reduce poverty in northwest Dayton.

Residents in this portion of the area have seen several businesses leave the area in the last few years.

“We’re interested in building up a community that has experienced so many disappointments over the years,” Vanessa Ward, President of the Omega Community Development Corporation told News Center 7′s Kayla Courvell.

The Gem City Market that opened up earlier this year provided the first glimmer of hope in the area helping many families have access to fresh food. However those same families have been left without some essential services. The Hope Center is aiming to change that.

“We have many disparities, health disparities in northwest Dayton, educational disparities,” Ward said. “We brought together partners who would engage both children and families for the uplift of the community.”

The $11 million building is located off Harvard Boulevard, and is what Ward considers a two-generational model, meaning there are services not just for kids, but for the entire family.

Services for children can be found on the first and second floors of the building, like on the first floor where the Mini University provides an early learning program for infants through age 5. The second floor has services from Dayton Children’s Hospital, with full pediatric services for kids of all ages.

Sinclair College also has space in the Hope Center where adults can take classes.

“We’ll focus on allied health, certification programs that will guaranteed a person completing the program will have opportunity for employment,” Ward said.

And Ward’s Omega Community Development Corporation will have services focusing on helping families as a whole. The goal will not be to just improve the lives of kids but give families the tools to improve live all-around, Ward said.

“Providing family coaching and support and wrap around services to ensure we’re attending to the needs of families in this community. It’s one thing to work on the educational needs of children, but those kids go home to families and those families need as much attention as those children do.”

The Hope Center plans to fill 100 jobs in the building and they are still hiring, with some positions still open at the Mini University. Leaders will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the center November 10.

Kayla Courvell

Kayla Courvell

I was born and raised in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and decided as a child I was going to be a news reporter.