BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A local non-profit is receiving a Restore New York grant as it assembles the financing to purchase its own building.
Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network is moving to Johnson City to provide more space and more services to families.
Executive Director Sharon Chesna is showing off the plans for a new home.
Chesna, who founded Mothers and babies back in 1993, says the current leased space on State Street in Binghamton has become structurally unsafe. Large cracks can be seen at the corner of the building.
“It goes from front to the back of the building and now the floor and concrete is heaving as well so it’s pretty serious,” she said.
So, the organization is scheduled to close on 338 and 346 Grand Avenue in J.C. later this week.
Mothers and Babies’ mission is to reduce infant and maternal mortality. It does that through providing education and access to prenatal care, teen sex education, assistance securing health insurance for people 0 to 64 and family support through its PAL Center.
“We’ll be able to move into this building and we will reduce, obviously, the amount of money that we have to pay out for rent. That is going to allow us to expand services.”
Chesna credits the support of Broome County and the Town of Union, which are each providing 200 thousand dollars in ARPA funding toward the purchase of the property, as well as the Decker Foundation which is kicking in an additional 150 grand. Last night Chesna got more good news: a 230 thousand dollar Restore New York grant that will cover repaving the parking lot, interior painting and a new feature outdoors.
“We’re going to take one section of that parking lot, and we’re so excited, because we’re actually going to do an outdoor play area to go along with the PAL Center,” says Chesna.
Mothers and Babies plans to continue to serve Binghamton by siting a second PAL Center in a new structure adjacent to this plaza on Robinson Street.
Chesna says the J.C. site is ideal because it will have plenty of space for services on the ground floor and offices beneath.
“It’s definitely a community that has a lot of lower income, moderate income homes and housing and families so we’re really hoping that this can be a hub for the community as well.”
Chesna plans to retire after 28 years later this year, but not until after the relocation project is complete.
Chesna says a mid summer target date has been set for moving into the J.C. location, which used to house the financial offices for UHS.
She hopes the new Binghamton PAL Center will be open sometime this fall.