“It’s remarkable…what’s possible when you don’t surrender, when you don’t hide from each other, when you don’t squat down and turn inward each other, but when we open our arms, our hearts, our minds and our souls to each other,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “This is truly the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.”
On Good Friday, Coons shared with the WRK Group — made up of the Warehouse, REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center communities — that the Delaware federal delegation was able to secure $10 million for the Kingswood facility in its pursuit of upgrading upgrade to larger accommodations
The community has outgrown the 17,494-square-foot facility, and REACH Riverside CEO Logan Herring said the funds bring the organization halfway through its efforts to find funds that will enable an upgrade. to a level that will better meet the needs of the community at this time. .
“[Coons, Carper, and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester] have been champions for the work we do here in Riverside, and to get $10 million to help us build this new, state-of-the-art community center in our neighborhood that needs it most is a huge day for us.” , Herring said, “We’re $10 million closer to our goal of $42 million.”
Herring noted that this investment brings them to just over half the funding for the planned facility – a facility that has five times the space of their current facility. Plus, there’s an even bigger plan to positively impact the community around the center.
“We’re at about 20 – we’re at just over $22 million – and our goal is to complete the fundraising effort by the end of 2022. We have really aggressive and ambitious goals, but we really believe we can get through with support like the one we’re getting today,” Herring said. “There will be a brand new building…We’re very lucky that Kingswood has 12 acres of land, we’ll be able to so build a new facility of about 100,000 square feet on the vacant land that we have, and then move the operations and demolish this one. Then our goal is to put at least 50 to 55 single-family homes on that property as well, to bring home ownership into this project that we’re doing.
Looking at the disadvantages facing the immediate community, US Senator Tom Carper said the Kingswood Community Center was an obvious choice to acquire and provide funds.
“A few kilometers from here there is a lot of poverty, a lot of families where the children do not have the kind of love and caring parents who [many are] lucky to have, there’s a big jail very close to where we were here today,” Carper said. “People in this community haven’t had the kind of support they want. and that they’ve needed for years, and something has to happen to transform their lives.”
That something, Carper said, was the investment he and Coons were on hand to announce for the center on Friday, April 15, 2022.
“It will be the spark plug, the spark plug of life, of the transformation that’s happening here, and it’s something that we’re excited to be a part of,” Carper said. “We are competing against requests from 50 other states, 98 other senators, 434 other representatives, and the reason this project was chosen over so many other meritorious projects is that we have demonstrated the clear need and return on investment, which will be tangible, real and long-term.”
Having already shown the impact of his initiatives on the communities in which he operates, Coons said the Delaware delegation was confidently pleased to have confidence in Herring’s efforts to bring a new facility here and expand housing options for those who live here.
“REACH Riverside has developed a comprehensive, thorough, and community-driven plan for the redevelopment of a very large portion of Wilmington’s Riverside community, and they have already demonstrated their ability to attract and deploy money from foundations, from businesses, individuals, city, county and state governments, and they have a track record of accomplishment,” Coon said. “Building the warehouse, which is a service center for teens; the reconstruction of hundreds of former social housing units is already underway; and this Kingswood Community Center anchor will be the final essential to make this whole thing work. The new Kingswood Community Center will provide everything from a health services center to a pre-kindergarten and early learning center to a senior center and senior services. It will help support the community that is rebuilding right around us here.
Herring just wanted to thank the senators and Blunt Rochester, who couldn’t be here on Friday, for not forgetting them.
“Not only are they leaders in the country, but they don’t forget us at home and we really appreciate that,” Herring said. “This whole project that we’re doing is a purpose-built community. It’s a $300 million, 600-home project, but we understand that we have to have the amenities, and Kingswood has always been the heart of the community. We want the heartbeats to keep flowing as we rebuild and revitalize this community.”