For much of 2017, Safronia Perry has served as the interim executive director at Hope Station after the organization’s founder, Jim Washington, stepped aside due to the health issues that would take his life in May.
Recently, the board of directors of Hope Station chose to drop the word “interim” from Perry’s title, naming her the new executive director of the nonprofit organization on West Penn Street that works to lift up the community through a variety of programs, focusing largely on children.
Q. What is your vision for Hope Station as it moves into the future?
A. My vision for Hope Station is to see it continue to grow. I’d like to have more programs that fit the needs of all of the Hope Station area and beyond. I’d also like for all people in Carlisle and the Greater Carlisle Area to know who Hope Station is and what we do.
Q. What are the greatest challenges facing the community right now?
A. I think the greatest challenge facing the community is financial. As prices continue to rise and wages stay the same, it’s becoming increasingly harder to pay bills and feed a family.
Q. What challenges does Hope Station face, and how can the community help?
A. The greatest challenge facing Hope Station is also financial. Because we have added more programs, we found that we needed more staff. Without sufficient funds to support a staff of three, our doors will close. The community can help by donating financially, or helping with fundraising efforts.
Q. How can Hope Station help the community, especially the youth, face the challenges of the future?
A. Hope Station can help the community by implementing more educational programs, and inviting educators to sit at the table with us on ways that we can appeal to our youth. We would like and need more community input on what the needs are.
Q. What’s one thing you have learned in your work that you would want to pass on to the next generation?
A. I’ve learned working at Hope Station that people genuinely want to help others in their community. Some may not be able to give financially, but they donate their time, or things that they believe the children in the Hope Station area need or want. We have to be open to accept help from people. The more we do, the more they want to give.