The Tenants' and Workers' Support Committee, local elected officials, and community partners dedicated the new Arlandria Community Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 11.
The City Council, along with members of the Arlington Board of Supervisors, state Del. Adam Ebbin, and U.S. Rep. James P. Moran attended the ceremony.
Beginning in January, the new center will serve hundreds of low-income residents of Arlandria and surrounding neighborhoods in Alexandria and Arlington, including offering after-school educational programs for teens, community health promotion activities, workforce development programs, and civic engagement activities such as parent involvement in public schools and affordable housing.
Following a year-long study, the City Council voted unanimously in June 2004 to allocate $300,000 in the form of a 99-year, no interest loan for purchase of the building and creation of the community center.
Moran is credited with securing $99,000 in HUD economic development funds to renovate the building which will house the center.
The ribbon-cutting event was sponsored by BB&T Bank, which also provided long-term financing for the community center project. A fund-raiser was held at Jack Taylor's Alexandria Toyota following the ceremony.
THE TENANTS' and Workers' Support Committee is a grassroots organization dedicated to empowering low-income people of Northern Virginia. Founded in 1986, the organization began as an emergency response to the planned evictions of thousands of the neighborhood's mostly low-income residents.
The organization has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2003 Leadership for a Changing World Award of the Ford Foundation and Advocacy Institute as well as the 2003 Washington Area Women's Foundation Leadership Award.
Among the organization's accomplishments are creation of the 282-unit, resident-owned Arlandria Chirilagua Housing Cooperative, credited with stabilizing the low-income neighborhood, and sponsorship of teen, parent, uninsured health, and worker advocacy programs.