The Yarmouth Community Center (YCC), under the organizational framework of Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors (YCAN), is planning a community center to provide a centralized hub for services, resources and fellowship. The intent is to create a dedicated space to integrate an excellent but currently fragmented array of programs and services, as well as provide a welcoming space for people of all ages to gather.
VISION & ASSUMPTIONS:
- a friendly welcoming community center in a centrally located, easy to access village location
- ample parking and accessible design
- a gathering place for all ages, with café amenities, wifi, kitchen and flexible use space to accommodate changing needs
- large multipurpose, multigenerational space for classes, functions and rentals
- a centralized hub for offices and programs of YCAN, Food Pantry, Community Services, General Assistance, and Medical Loan Closet operations
- creative partnerships with the Town of Yarmouth, Yarmouth businesses and nonprofits
- YCC n/i YCS: 8000 sf +/-
- YCS: 1600 sf +/-
- parking: 50 cars, plus area shared (two-way) and on-street parking
- loading and delivery doors necessary for Food Pantry and Medical Loan
- March 2016: YCAN charges YCC Steering Committee with planning.
- September 2016: Community Needs Assessment completed (see report)
- 2016-2017: Site Selection and fundraising/budgeting
- 2017: Explore partnerships with Town of Yarmouth and beneficial relationships with private or non-profit sector.
- 2017: Develop marketing and publicity materials to share with the community.
YCC Steering Committee Members
Horace Horton, Barbara Horton, Beth Costello, Cathy Gavin
, Bill Goddard, Maura Halkiotis, Charlie Horstmann, Lynn Hynes, Leigh Kirchner, Jack Moore, Peter Small, Sarah Witte
, Karen MacNeill– Town of Yarmouth Liaison
A POTENTIAL SITE for the Yarmouth Community Center is the Town-owned land at the corner of West Main St. and Sligo Rd. Notices have been mailed to abutters and neighbors with the schedule forinformational meetings. Members of the Steering Committee for the YCC will attend both meetings for a discussion of proposed plans, ideas, and concerns.
The two meetings will take place on
Wednesday, July 12th
4:00 to 5:30 PM
7:00 to 8:30 PM
at 121 West Main Street
Residents are welcome to attend either session.
The Steering Committee (SC) discussed Locations, Finances, and the Needs Assessment Study at its monthly meeting on May 2nd.
After revisiting Winslow Station, the SC members concluded that paying for code compliancy updates and ADA issues would be rather expensive for our purposes.
SC also explored NYA properties that will be coming on the market. However, after paying for acquisition and renovation, the properties may be too costly. There are also access and parking issues that would need to be resolved.
Beth Costello and Lynn Hynes presented their draft of the Needs Assessment Study for SC review and revision.
Lastly, SC is starting to concentrate on financial aspects, including annual budgets of components of a Yarmouth Community Center (YCC). For example, the Food Pantry Committee needs to calculate utility and food acquisition costs in order to feed into a total budget for the YCC. The SC will also be working to determine what methods of fundraising will be used.
YCAN Board members Lynn Hynes and Peter Small have joined the Steering Committee.
After investigating Winslow Station as a possible home for the Medical Loan Closet, Mary Conneen, Director of the Health Council’s Medical Loan Closet, notified the Steering Committee that the the location’s expenses would be greater than the Health Council can afford.
The police and fire departments will likely keep their in-town locations, and not seek to use YCC space.
The Steering Committee’s objective, developed in consultation with YCAN, is to find a single location that will be suitable for all agreed-upon uses for the Community Center.
When the Needs Assessment Study is completed (hopefully by May 1st), the Design Concept Phase will begin. Sarah Witte, Janet Hansen, and Frank Oliva have created “Bubble Diagrams” to show alternative space uses for the YCC.
The next step for the project is to seek the Finance Subcommittee’s assistance to develop a budget for the project, then lay out fundraising and financing alternatives.
One of many possible roles being considered for a Yarmouth Community Center (YCC) building could be as a new storage location for Yarmouth’s Medical Loan Closet (MLC). The MLC is a medical equipment library: community members can borrow items at no charge, and return them when they are no longer needed.
Mary Conneen, Director of the MLC, shared its history and needs at the most recent YCC steering committee meeting. The Yarmouth Health Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit with about 40 members, has operated the MLC for 60 years to serve a cross section of Yarmouth residents with varying short-term needs. Requests for equipment loans are initiated either by residents or by medical professionals working with residents, and are coordinated by the Yarmouth Health Council (who provide the equipment from 3-5 pm on weekdays) and Yarmouth Community Services (who receive six to eight calls daily asking about equipment loans).
All MLC equipment has been donated by residents, and includes items such as 4-wheeled walkers, wheel chairs, hospital beds, shower/tub seats, crutches, canes, and knee scooters. The MLC’s current storage space is owned by the Town, but space is tight. While new donations are gratefully accepted, it has sometimes been necessary to refuse donations of useful larger items (like recliners) which do not fit in the current storage space.
Mary Coneen said that if the MLC could obtain space about the size of a two-car garage, it would be possible to store items on shelving, which would provide faster and easier access to all pieces of equipment, as well as a safer environment for both volunteers and clients.
The MLC is but one example of neighbors helping neighbors in Yarmouth that might be even more effective if it had access to a bit more dedicated and/or shared space.
The Yarmouth (Maine) Community Center project now has a logo:
Many thanks to Joline Edwards for developing it.
We look forward to putting this logo to good use going forward as we continue to solicit ideas about community needs and interests which could be better served if Yarmouth had a community center building.
If you are interested in learning more about this project, participating in it, or contributing to it, please contact us!
The Yarmouth Community Center (YCC) Steering Committee hosted a town-wide meeting in Yarmouth, Maine on Tuesday, September 27. Close to a hundred enthusiastic community members attended for an update and to share their ideas for the YCC.
The community meeting was part of an ongoing outreach effort to create consensus and prioritize the community needs to be served by the YCC. The recent Aging in Place survey results and the needs of the Food Pantry, among others, served as an impetus for community members to form a steering committee and begin work in earnest on the YCC. The YCC will provide a centralized location for resources, services and multi-purpose, multi-generational space. Last week’s community meeting featured discussions about the needs of the community and possible sites for the YCC.
The YCC Steering Committee has placed “YCC Suggestion” boxes at the Merrill Memorial Library and Town Hall to encourage townspeople to continue to share ideas on this exciting new endeavor for the town of Yarmouth. .
For further YCC information, please contact Beth Costello by e-mail (bethcoste “at” gmail.com) or by phone (207-846-1591).
To support the YCC with a donation, please make checks payable to Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors (or YCAN), write “YCC” on the memo line, and send to:
Maura Halkiotis, CPA
PO Box 483
Yarmouth, Maine 04096