Right on schedule and on budget HOPE Community Resources Inc. opened their new facility Thursday, July 30th. It was just last fall on a rainy afternoon that families and local officials gathered to celebrate the ground breaking, “It’s amazing and I think it’s because we had a wonderful contractor and super building season due to the lack of snow so they pressed on and here we are today all moved into this beautiful facility,” said Michele Girault, senior deputy director for HOPE Community Resources in an interview with the Dispatch. “This facility is meant to be a community center for all of the Kenai area. It was specifically a dream of parents whose children experience disabilities. They wanted a facility that was accessible, safe and available to them for activities that are applicable to their children but also able to invite community into share. So this new facility is just that where you can come and have a meeting or take a class or recreate and is open to everybody and we hope everyone will take part in it. We’ll have art, recreation, there will be a community garden here as well and this will be a launching place to do other activities within the community itself,” she said.
According to Girault the center would not have been possible without the partnership and investments from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Alaska Mental Health Trust, ConocoPhillips, the Alaska legislature who gave us capital grants, Wells Fargo and the Rasmuson Foundation just to mention a few. HOPE is projected to grow by 34 percent in the next four years and now serves 150 some individuals on the Kenai Peninsula. Girault invited the public to come by after the grand opening for a tour and to learn more about the facility, “Anyone who wants to stop by is welcome throughout the week and see the new facility we have ambassadors here that will take you on a tour and if you have children and would like to look at the classes we have available come and get a schedule and see what we have to offer,” she said. “This is not a job it’s a passion. I think seeing people that the world would say have a disability to be able to focus on their abilities and see them in a place like this where they can shine and showcase talents and gifts is a wonder, really!” concluded Girault.