Q House-LEAP contract approved | Independent from New Haven
Celebrating the latest legislative step in a ten-year effort to revive “Maison Q”, the Alder Council unanimously approved a three-year, $ 300,000 contract between the city and LEAP that will enable the local agency for tutoring and recreation for reborn young people. Dixwell Avenue Community Center.
City lawmakers took the vote on Monday evening at the last full council of aldermen meeting, held online via Zoom and YouTube Live.
The Alders unanimously approved a contract that would require the city to pay for long-standing tutoring and swimming instruction to nonprofit LEAP – short for Leadership, Education And Athletics In Partnership Inc. – up to 100 $ 000 annually for the next three years to manage the soon- to reopen the “Q” house.
The resolution approved Monday night also allows the city to channel public funds already earmarked by the city’s youth and recreation department for Q House programming directly to LEAP each year. Another provision of the amended agreement would allow the city and LEAP to accept financial contributions outside of city funding to support the programming and operation of Q House.
In public meetings and previous comments, LEAP Executive Director Henry Fernandez estimated that his organization will continue to raise several hundred thousand dollars each year in addition to the city’s allocation to cover the full budget of operation of the community center, which will include a dance studio, music studio, gym, art studio, kitchen, Stetson Library, Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, senior center and various community meeting rooms.
“The Q House building is a historic institution in the community of Dixwell,” Dixwell Chaplain Jeanette Morrison said during the opening of the “Divine Guidance” section of Monday night’s meeting.
It started out as a “navigator, a home of settlement” for thousands of black families who migrated from the south to New Haven in the 1920s to work in the factories in Winchester and live in the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods, she declared. Over the past century, the former Q House has provided a place of recreation, education, and community for New Haven figures such as Constance Baker Motley and Jesse Hameen.
A generation of young people lost the experience of “the love and commitment of the Q” when the old community center closed in 2003, Morrison said.
For years after the old Q House closed, local and local politicians and community activists lobbied for state support to bring back the Q House. In January 2016, thanks to the advocacy of then-mayor Toni Harp and alders like Morrison, the city secured more than $ 15 million in public funds to build a new Q House. This package included $ 1 million to build a new home for the Stetson Library branch in Q House. The old Q House building was demolished in January 2016, and Harp signed the contract to start construction of the new building in August 2019.
“Today is a new day. Today is a better day, thanks to you,” Morrison told his fellow board members Monday night. “Because of your belief in community, in youth and in our elderly residents. Collectively, we have used our political capital and resources and made this safe space a priority. “
Also in the opening section of Monday night’s meeting, Elsa Holahan, sophomore from Hillhouse High School, and Tremayne Sweat, junior from Hillhouse, guided the alders through a virtual tour of the new building that will soon open. . The two New Haven students are young directors of the Q House Advisory Board.
Holahan’s site visit included the new two-story Stetson Library, the ‘Toni Harp Memorial Museum’, a plethora of leisure and office spaces, a senior’s wing, a recording studio, a music room. arts and crafts, dance studio and Suite.
Click on the video below to view the virtual tour.