HARTFORD, CT - Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28), who serves as the Ranking Senator on the Finance Revenue and Bonding’s bonding subcommittee, came up to the Capitol as the State Bond Commission voted to approve $1.25 million for Fairfield’s Operation Hope.
“I want to thank Governor Lamont and the bipartisan, bicameral support of Fairfield’s State Delegation including State Representatives Laura Devlin, Jennifer Leeper, and Cristin McCarthy Vahey for bringing this project to fruition,” said Sen. Hwang. “Since 1985, Operation Hope has been taking care of the community and it is very fitting that they should be able to now obtain a home of their very own.”
This project involves purchasing and renovating a property to include Operation Hope’s:
- homeless resource center - providing outreach, intake and crisis resolution to over 1,200 annually
- community kitchen - serving over 20,000 meals a year
- food pantry - serving over 170,000 meals to over 1,100 unduplicated households annually
- affordable housing -70 units in Fairfield and Bridgeport that they own or operate
- housing first - housing an additional 200 people a year
- case management and counseling programs
- mortgage and rental relief initiatives
- Operation Fuel site
This organization is critical to those in need in Fairfield, as well as in Bridgeport and the surrounding communities. This facility will provide a long-term solution to their need for stable and appropriate space to best serve those who struggle with homelessness, hunger and mental health/substance use issues.
Time is of the essence. The agency is currently negotiating between two options and will then purchase and renovate. To incorporate all OH’s functions, space will be approximately 12,000 square feet and include a commercial kitchen, pantry service and storage, community space, offices, meeting rooms, showers and washing facilities, and more. With over 30 staff and many clients visiting their sites on a regular basis, at least 50 parking spaces are a must. Space should be accessible to the community, close to public transportation, and welcome clients, volunteers and community residents. OH has an architect drawing plans, are actively fundraising for their capital campaign and pursuing additional funding through both traditional banking and local channels.
“It is wonderful to see State and Town leadership, the local clergy, and community joining forces to support this effort. Everyone recognizes the importance of this four-decades old organization and the critical services it provides. The need for food and home security increases every day, and we are so fortunate to be able to finally give back to an organization who has tirelessly given to everyone else,” said Sen. Hwang.
Sen. Hwang VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3koRffJTeFg