A new community center has opened its doors on Buffalo’s Eastside, providing people access to daycare, early childhood education and other resources in a place that lacked those resources.
“A lot of people who provide these services like to move out from away from where the people who need these services are,”said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples.
The building at 2515 Bailey Avenue used to be an old parish hall, but after a $6 million dollar renovation project, it’s turned into the Gerard Place Community Center.
“It’s literally creatiing the opportunity for citizens to be contributing citizens to our community in a major way,” Peoples said.
The building also has a new purpose, and that’s to help people succeed. One of those ways is that the center will offer daycare to help ease the burden for parents.
“When you think about the cost of childcare in Erie County alone, it’s 13,000 dollars a year,” said Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul. “If you’re making a minimum wage job and
you have to spend 13,000 dollars to watch one of your children, it doesn’t work.”
The facility will also provide early childhood education and nursing assistant programs to help people get back on their feet.
“This building is for everyone, 6 weeks old to the elderly, who need food everyday,” said Gerard Center executive director David Zapfel.
“It took the generosity of many people and organizations to make this a reality.”
This project received 1.75 million dollars from New York State. Those funds were used for construction and workforce development initiatives at the center.