Community Outreach Director Jose Diaz said he was nervous that he hadn’t done enough to get the word out that the Homewood-Brushton branch of the YMCA was celebrating its reopening with a Halloween party. He needn’t have been. More than 200 people attended.
“I was worried no one would come. So I was taken aback—pleasantly—to see the nice steady stream of folks come through for two hours,” he said. “And I was also pleased to see that they were excited to be back in the Y. So it was a fantastic way to celebrate, to have everyone join, it and let people know we we’re back.”
The branch had been closed since a June 16 electrical fire caused excessive smoke damage throughout the facility. The entire building has been cleaned and the electrical system replaced and as of Nov. 3, the branch is back to normal operating hours.
In the intervening five months, the Y continued operations thanks to help from nearby Homewood agencies. Its workforce development program operated from the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library and Shiloh Baptist Church temporarily housed its Family Support Center services.