The Midtown Utica Community Center has been around for three years but it’s just the beginning as there were some big announcements made for the facility today.
MUCC announced today the Community Foundation of Oneida and Herkimer Counties is giving them a grant of about a quarter of a million dollars. The new executive director of MUCC, Chris Sunderlin, says this money helps in keeping up with their main goal for the next three years.
“Our mission here at MUCC is to build and provide a multicultural refugee friendly space that serves all,” Sunderlin said.
Not only is the center getting financial help, but the building used for MUCC is being sold by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.
“Without any funding the Episcopal Diocese has let us use the facility for the last three years and so we support our program through generous donations from the community,” Sunderlin said.
But now that building is officially handed over. A place where Fadumo Ali, a member of MUCC, says she can be herself.
“Back in Indiana there was not really a lot of people like us. So it was kind of hard to like adapt because you’re very different from them but here there’s a lot of people who are in the community and it’s also very refugee friendly,” Ali said.
And while the center is comforting for Ali, she says it’s also a place for personal growth.
“I get kind shy around new people but then I was able to get out of my comfort zone and stuff. I’ve learned how to do a lot of things i didn’t know how to do,” Ali said.
MUCC keeps its doors open all year round and is a place for refugees to get help with academics and become a part of cultural events.