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By: Dr. Joy Bruce

March 29, 2011 – Miami, Florida
             On March 10, 2011, NANAY formally opened its house to more than 200 guests, including local government officials, community leaders and advocates in North Miami.  More than 200 community members also attended the Thanksgiving Mass and Blessing of the Faithful which was held on March 13, officiated by Fr. Jess Medina and coordinated by Janet Macasero of the Filipino Apostolate.  
             NANAY, Inc. (National Alliance to Nurture the Aged and the Youth) is  a Miami-based 501(c )(3) community-based organization that has been providing supportive services to elders and youth since 1994.
             In 2000, NANAY assumed ownership of a 56 year-old  two-story, 8735 sq ft building located at 659 NE 125 Street in North Miami, known as NANAY Community Center, and provided counseling, transport, computer classes, recreational activities, health sessions, community workshops, seminars for elders, and intergenerational activities that combine youth mentoring with volunteer service to elders.
             In 2008, a $486,640 funding from the Miami-Dade Building Better Communities was approved to renovate the aging facility, which included the construction of an elevator. ADA-compliant restrooms, HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical wiring upgrades.  In 2009, an additional $240,000 funding was approved by the North Miami Community Reinvestment Agency (North Miami CRA), and a $125,000 Capital Challenge Grant was approved by Kresge Foundation to support and complete the building renovation.
            In October of 2009, NANAY entered into a contract with Arki Construction for the renovation of NANAY’s Community Center. The renovation project did not go as smoothly as planned due to various issues ranging from permitting and compliance with new City construction codes and unexpected delays from inspectors and other regulatory agencies of both Miami Dade County and the City of North Miami. 
          “It took almost two years to complete the project because of all the change orders we had to go through to get the permits and fulfill the building requirements ”, said Bennie Trinidad, NANAY’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer who oversaw the renovation. “It was like pulling teeth.”
          To continue its services during the renovation period, NANAY rented a temporary facility three blocks away from its building.
            “NANAY is doing such a wonderful service to our City,” said North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre who addressed the guests during the Open House. “We should all support its projects.”
           The main entrance to the new Center is now located at the back of the building, across from the municipal parking lot, and opens into a large reception hall with a lounge and activities area,  a computer lab, a kitchenette, a beauty parlor, and the offices of the Executive Director and the President. This is where most of the supportive services for the seniors, health promotion and after school programs for the youth will be held.
           The second floor has the staff offices and a large community hall where exercise sessions, educational forums, seminars, art exhibits,  town hall meetings, and other community-sponsored events will be held to open up new avenues for community outreach, cultural exchange, and cultural diversity.
           The NANAY Community Economic Development Corporation (NANAY-CEDC) will provide housing counseling and foreclosure initiatives at the third floor (loft) where the Board room, and the offices of the Chief Operating Officer and housing counselors are located. 
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY - From Left to Right: North Miami CRA  Executive Director Tony Crapp, Miami Dade County GOB Program Director Frank Barriga, North Miami City Mayor Andre Pierre, NANAY President Joy Bruce, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime.


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