Friday, June 10, 2016

A Miracle at the Q House

On a beautiful bright Saturday morning in the Dixwell community one can see residents,Alders,children,artists,elected officials, contractors and builders all gathered around one of New Haven's oldest landmarks "The Q House", a longtime community center that offered service options to the entire New Haven community. The historic community center was forced unfortunately to close its doors in 2003 due to a lack of funding.

The gathering was greeted by Alder Jeanette Morrison(D-22), whose countless efforts and promise to see a new community center led her on a hard fought campaign to start a "New Q-House" Committee and bring together Gov. Malloy, Mayor Toni Harp, residents, and community groups to make this dream a reality.

Youth from the YCL, New Elm City Dream, and other groups had organized marches for the Q House, and fought to keep Alder Morrison in office to keep the project on track. As a result of their hard work, these youth were invited to sit on the current Q House planning committee.

Morrison explained how the dedicated commitment finally paid off when the state granted the neighborhood 15.5 million dollars to complete the project. The building contractors of the project agreed to offer certain construction jobs to  community residents.

The demolition will start this summer and will be completed in the fall. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring of 2017. A passionate prayer was given by Alder Richard Furlow,Ward 27, followed by a lovely rendition of "Lift Every Voice" by Alder Jill Marks, Ward 28, and a moment of silence and homage to Regina Winters one of the first African-American women architects who designed the new Q-House design but suddenly died of cancer.

Introductions of Q House building committee members, remarks from Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman and Tyisha Walker, president of the New Haven Board Of Alders, and a tribute to original Q House members were all part of the program. In a passionate speech Mayor Harp said the new facility will have a state of the art library and heath care services, gymnasium, and an African American museum.

The crowd  made it's way to a ceremonial painting on the Q House wall by artist Norman ''KTro" Storm and local community kids, which everyone then proceeded to sign lovely messages on.

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