Omega breaks ground on $11M Hope Center for Families

Renderings of the Omega Community Development Corp.'s $11M Hope Center for Families, being built now on Harvard Boulevard in Northwest Dayton. CONTRIBUTED
Renderings of the Omega Community Development Corp.'s $11M Hope Center for Families, being built now on Harvard Boulevard in Northwest Dayton. CONTRIBUTED

New multi-purpose center will open in West Dayton in the fall of 2021.

Omega Community Development Corp. broke ground Friday on an $11 million center meant to strengthen education, health and employment in Northwest Dayton.

The new Hope Center for Families should be open in the fall of 2021, proponents said.

Sinclair Community College and Dayton Children’s Hospital are expected to have a steady presence at the multipurpose center, located on Harvard Boulevard.

“This project is a game-changer,” declared Omega Baptist Church Pastor Joshua Ward.

“This community that has seen disinvestment in the past few years is now seeing investment,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

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The work at the center will focus on reducing poverty, educating individuals and families and creating pathways to employment, advocates said.

Omega Baptist Church acquired the property in 2005 and this year, the church completed the Omega Senior Lofts, a complex of senior apartments located adjacent to the Hope Center site, noted Daryl Ward, pastor emeritus of Omega and father of Pastor Joshua Ward.

The younger Ward said the church’s mission is to serve families and communities.

“With this project, we ensure that our shared vision, with the Omega Community Development Corp. ... with all of these community partners, of making Dayton a better place for everyone who lives works and plays here will continue not just for the next five years or the next 10 years, but for generations,” Joshua Ward said.

Al Wofford, board chair of the Omega CDC, called the ground-breaking a “milestone that we have been pursuing for several years.”

Rev. Vanessa Ward, president of the Omega CDC and pastor emerita of Omega Baptist Church, also hailed the moment. In 2014, the vision of a social-, health- and educational-services center began to coalesce, she said.

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“Out of those dream sessions came the concept of evidence-based two-generation model for sustaining families who are finding it difficult to move from poverty to sustainable living with sustainable wages,” she said.

The Dayton Region New Market Fund, affiliated with CityWide Development Corp., advanced the project this summer with $8 million in federal new market tax credits.

Omega Baptist Church commissioned the nonprofit Omega CDC to develop the master plan for the overall grounds, with an eye on a larger campus revitalization of the former United Theological Seminary campus.

The 32-acre campus is found in the Dayton View Triangle neighborhood.

The groundbreaking was streamed live on Facebook Friday morning.

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