Houston, we have a problem.
The One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center, which boasts an educational relationship with NASA, is failing to receive the necessary funding to continue its programs, sources said.
Simcha Waisman, president of One Stop for six years and an active resident of Richmond Hill for the last 35, said that the community center is having trouble gathering basic funds to maintain its activities.
“[There have been] Budget cuts, and ever since the elected officials who handle the budget changed, it also changed the priority of where the money should go,” said Waisman.
Despite having received a $10,000 grant from Walmart to carry on with its annual summer camp that focuses on space technology and scientific endeavors, the center had to cut the time frame of the camp from five to two weeks because of financial difficulties. The program costs around $30,000 and is only able run until July 26.
With the exception of teachers, most of the people who work at the community center are unpaid, willing volunteers. The people who are going to suffer most, according to Waisman, are the children and the community because the community center won’t be able to facilitate videoconferencing, Mommy & Me, and other beneficial programs like their food pantry.
For now, the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center is depending on donations.
“I understand people need money for something else, but we need to pay for electricity, air conditioning and the teachers,” Waisman said, “We are here to serve the community, the people and the children. That’s our goal always. I knock on every door I know to get funding, but I’m going to have to give up the program if I can’t get the money.”