Providing Hope: Community Center in Troy celebrates 50 years
Hope 7 Community Center is celebrating its golden anniversary of doing good in the Collar City community. For the past 50 years, Hope 7 has played an integral role in the community by offering youth programs, food security and community outreach.
Located at 596 Pawling Ave. in Troy, this local center’s mission is to provide life essential and enhancing services in a nurturing and non-preferential manner, to promote self-sufficiency, personal growth, and commitment to serving one’s community.
All are welcome to celebrate Hope 7’s 50th anniversary from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the center. The event will include free back-to-school haircuts, the Carol’s Place food truck and an open house with samples of programming.
Organizers are hoping that a lot of Hope 7 alumni will take the opportunity to come back and visit for the celebration.
Over the decades, Hope 7 has offered its services to multiple generations of community members. The community center originally was established in 1968 as East Side Neighborhood Recreation Center, Inc. under the leadership of a group of dedicated gentlemen from the community who saw the need for recreational programs for Troy’s East Side youth.
When the City of Troy decided to disband the firehouse, known as Hope 7, the group was able to take over use of the building, sharing it for many years with a branch of the Troy Public Library.
Today the building remains much as it was when Troy’s brave firefighters inhabited the space, with minimal renovations made to accommodate the current needs of the organization’s year-round children’s programs.
A painting of the original firehouse and its firefighters from the turn of the 20th century is proudly displayed on Hope 7’s second floor to be forever cherished.
Kids ages 5 to 13 play and learn in the former firehouse at after-school programs during the school year, and as part of the yearly summer camp, which also includes many fun field trips.
Along with the organization’s 50th anniversary, the Hope 7 Food Pantry its marking its 30-year milestone of feeding individuals and families in the community as well. When it first started three decades ago, the pantry fed about 20 local families from a closet space in the Hope 7 building. Now, as need has increased, it regularly serves around 200, and operates out of the Pawling Avenue United Methodist Church basement up the street at 520 Pawling Ave.
Additionally, Hope 7 provides community outreach through its holiday giving programs, which aid local families and children during the holiday season each year.
Looking ahead, interim executive director Samantha Adkisson is focused on making sure that Hope Seven has a stable, viable future ahead, “because we want to be here for another 50 years,” she said. Her goal is for Hope 7 to someday expand to a larger space, allowing it to offer more programs.
Hope 7 is funded by program fees, foundation funds, country grants and corporate sponsors as well as support from neighbors and friends within the community. More than 50 valued volunteers regularly volunteer their time at Hope 7, which also has many strong partnerships with local schools, businesses and fellow organizations. Hope 7 is always looking for volunteers and donors. With Hope 7 Summer Camp in full swing, the organization is currently seeking donors for its Adopt A Camper campaign.
More information about Hope 7, its services and opportunities to get involved is available online at www.hopeseven.com or by calling 518-272-8029.