by Kendrick LaFleur
Outreach Specialist, Hser Ner Moo Community & Welcome Center
The Hser Ner Moo (HNM) Community and Welcome Center serves over 90 families in the South Parc Townhomes in South Salt Lake. Our doors are open to all, not just residents of South Parc and we have many families who come from all over the Salt Lake valley to participate in our programs. Our afterschool programs regularly serve over 150 kids and our evening classes in English as a second language, driving school preparation, computer skills, and others consistently report record attendance as well. All of this success has taken place despite one of our biggest obstacles – we’ve had only a small 1500 square-foot townhome in which to do it!!
Earlier this year, through a grant provided by the United Way of Salt Lake, we were able to begin renting out the adjoining townhome–doubling the size of our center! However, to make the best use of the space, we will need to take down the walls that separate the two townhomes and remodel the building. Unfortunately, with limited resources, we struggled to find a way to make this dream a reality. The solution to our problem came via Okland Construction, a regular donor to the United Way of Salt Lake!
Employees of Okland Construction were invited to visit and tour the HNM Center. While they were there they were able to see their donations in action. When they learned of our desires to expand our center and the difficulties we’ve had trying to finding funding to do so, Okland Construction volunteered to complete the whole remodel at no cost to the Center! Wonderful!
This type of project takes a considerable amount of time and planning, for obvious reasons. But, through the support of many stakeholders, including the City of South Salt Lake and volunteers from ASSIST, the plans were drawn up to meet all regulatory codes as well as the needs of the center. About two weeks ago, Okland Construction began work on the project! We so are excited!