FOCUS offers space to local programs

WARREN — Local entrepreneur Terrill Vidale and the Rev. Todd Johnson, pastor of Second Baptist Church, worked together to transform the former Alliance Community Outreach Building at 2051 Niles Road SE into “a hub of community engagement” called FOCUS.

The Faith, Opportunity, Collaboration, Unity and Support (FOCUS) center opened in the fall

Vidale, president / CEO of FOCUS, said the 7,500-square-foot, two-level building is available for use by the public to help individuals, nonprofit groups and business owners create opportunities and services for the public as well as be a place for special community events.

“This is a place for nonprofits to come in and operate out of for programs and services for adults and children such as personal development. This building is their home base,” said Johnson, director of operations.

Vidale said the main focus will be to help “to empower, advance and innovate” people and show ways to succeed.

“We want individuals who have a dream, who have an idea, or who have a desire to serve the community to have a space to do it in,” Johnson said.

Said Vidale,” We want to help aide people and support their endeavors.”

The center’s interior was remodeled for conference rooms, shared workspace and space for gatherings and events.

Johnson said he has been reaching out to local nonprofit organizations and other groups to see how they can get started locally. He said while many agencies and groups hold giveaways and other events, which are good, they want to help point people in the right direction with projects and services.

“This place will be here to provide them a starting place to get people on their feet and cultivate ideas,” Vidale said.

One program that used the building aims at helping people who are returning home from incarceration to incorporate back into the community.

The two acknowledge all the programs and services the former ACOP center provided to the public and named two large community rooms in the building to former ACOP staff including, Charlene Allen and the Rev. Grady Williams.

“They both helped with the youth and the people in the community,” Johnson said.

The two said they would like to see community meetings and local neighborhood groups meet at the building for informational programs as well as offering classes for educational and personal development for both adults and children. Technology labs are available for classes, training and workshops on such topics as financial literacy and economic development.

For information call 330-953-3340 or go to www.focusbldg.com.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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