TROY — On Wednesday, Partners in Hope opened the doors to their new “House of Hope” to the community with a Troy Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting and prayer over the facility at its new location on 180 E. Race St., Troy.
Supporters gathered on the porch and upper deck of the new building to celebrate its grand opening, which was open to the public for tours.
Executive director Jessica Echols said the building project was part of a “long journey” from its humble beginning 29 years ago. The organization was formerly housed at the Troy Rec and at an office across the street on Mulberry Street before outgrowing its former location at 116 W. Franklin St.
“This project has been a dream that’s been unfolding the past four to five years and it took a lot of people to make it happen,” Echols said.
Echols shared how the late Carl Asher was one of the first supporters of the project and encouraged Echols to make the new facility a reality. Echols said Asher gave the very first donation for the building project and she said she wished he had lived to see it completed. Echols said Asher was the true spirit of the Partners in Hope’s mission as a volunteer and later in life as a patron.
Echols also said Jim Taylor, a board member, was a pillar of the project and helped kicked-off the building project’s campaign.
“I’m forever indebted for your support,” Echols told Taylor and his family.
Echols also noted The Troy Foundation’s support for the project and thanked them for their support, which funded the project to its half-way point.
Echols noted the lobby’s artistic tree, which honors every donation towards the building project from $1.27 from a client to the large local contributions.
“It was every single one of those donations that made a difference,” she said.
Echols said it was important to the organization the building was paid for before starting the project so it would not take away from the services it provides to its clients.
“It was really important to us to have a lot of community support and that’s what we got,” Echols said.
Echols said Partners in Hope provided services for 912 individual families in 2018.
Board president Jenny Hausfeld welcomed the crowd to its “new home of hope.”
“We certainly appreciate the community and all the support Troy has given us and the community has been such a blessing to us and we hope we can certainly pay it forward,” said Hausfeld, who noted the organization’s volunteers and 20 partner churches and thanked the community for its support.
Long-time supporter, board member and donor Jim Taylor said it was great to see how the Partners in Hope organization has evolved over the years from the idea born from the city’s council of churches nearly three decades ago.
Taylor said it was a pleasure to see the building project come to fruition and thanked those in attendance for their support.
Mayor Michael Beamish presented Echols with a city medallion as a symbol of the city’s support of the project and the organization’s mission.
“To see how it evolved and developed and — look at the beautiful facility and that it enhances, not only this area of town and our whole total community — so it’s with great pleasure that I present this medallion as a symbol of our support from our community,” said Mayor Beamish.
Beamish also gave the invocation over the building as “Troy’s brand new home for hope” and offered a blessing over the new facility and the people and families it serves.
Troy Area Chamber of Commerce ambassador Carrie Kendall presided over the chamber’s ribbon cutting for the facility’s grand opening.
Echols has accepted the position of executive director of Troy Christian School’s new Arbogast Performing Arts Center. Her last day with Partners in Hope will be Friday. Carol Jackson, new executive director, will begin leading the organization on June 3.
“God sometimes leads you in different directions and you never know where that’s going to be. I’m a firm believer there’s a plan for each of us to be in different places in our lives so in just a couple days I’ll be leaving Partners in Hope for another organization and I’m very excited about that,” Echols said. “I’m very excited where we are leaving Partners in Hope.”
Echols then introduced Jackson to the crowd. She also noted the employees’ help during the organization’s move and their dedication to the non-profit so clients didn’t experience a disruption in services.
The organization broke ground a year ago for its two-story, 3,600-square-foot building at the corner of Race and Mulberry streets. The building has two classrooms, nine offices, a first-floor pantry, a kitchen space, a children’s learning area and other amenities. Keystone Homes of Troy served as general contractor and donated its time to the project.
Partners in Hope has been part of the community since 1990, offering relief, education, development, and caregiver programs and services to more than 900 households each year.
For more information on the organization and how to get involved, visit www.partnersinhopeinc.org or call (937) 335-0448.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org
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