AT&T Donation and Community Partnerships Lead to Continuation of Neighborhood Recreation Programs
Almost all neighborhood recreation programs facing closure today due to funding shortfalls will continue operations thanks to partnerships with community organizations and a recent financial contribution from AT&T, Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced today. Since January, staffing for ten recreation programs has been provided through a federal jobs program, which ended yesterday.
The City has been working for more than six months to recruit community based organizations to take over operations at the ten neighborhood centers. Since then, agreements have been successfully negotiated with organizations to operate five facilities as “lead agencies”. Four additional neighborhood centers have also attracted interest. However, some organizations are unable to assume “lead agency” responsibility at this time.
A generous $75,000 contribution from AT&T earlier this week will help sustain recreation programs at those sites until a “lead agency” partnership can be established.
The City will work alongside interested community organizations with the goal of transferring recreation center operations to them as soon as possible. Meanwhile, all seven of Fresno’s most active “flagship community centers” continue to be staffed and operated by the City’s parks department
“This generous donation from AT&T will help us build capacity among potential community partners,” Mayor Swearengin said. ”It will also help to ensure the long term success of this new and unique model for delivering local services. Through these partnerships, we are committed to providing the public with enhanced resources and services far beyond those previously available.”
"At AT&T, we're rethinking possible in everything we do, so we're especially proud to be a part of such an innovative effort to keep community centers open and available to all,” said Eric Johnson, Executive Director of External Affairs for AT&T. “It's never been more important to work together and find solutions that can make a real difference for the future of our community.”