Second of four expected reports from last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting: The group heard from the acting executive director of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, who declared that rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated.
It’s no secret that DNDA has had money struggles; the organization sent out a fundraising plea last December (here’s our story, including an explanation of what DNDA does). Since then, it’s cut staff and vacated its Brandon Court offices, consolidating into space at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Acting executive director Patty Grossman came to DNDC to provide a general update, starting with, “DNDA is not dead, and Youngstown is not closing its doors,” in response to rumors apparently in circulation. However, that’s not to say everything is rosy.
Grossman acknowledged, “The last four years have not been good years,” but maintained there’s “no danger DNDA will go away,” though later in her relatively brief appearance, she said that it would, if the community didn’t see a need for it.
For now, “One of the major goals of the (DNDA) board is just to reach financial stability.” She said that while technically she is an “acting” executive director – previous ED Derek Birnie left for a new job a few months ago – “I will be in this position as long as it takes to either stabilize DNDA, or shut it down if that’s what the community wants.” Right now, though, Grossman said she’s “seeing a lot of community support.”
She says DNDA is maintaining “core projects” with the help of volunteers. Advocating for more healthy food in Delridge remains a core project, she said, inviting those on hand to “please stop by Delridge Deli-Mart” to buy the fruit, vegetables, and “healthier sandwiches” that DNDA worked hard to get the store to stock.
And Youngstown remains alive with activities, Grossman added, saying they’re hoping to keep the event schedule on their website more up-to-date so that information on those activities can be more easily accessible.
She didn’t get into details about status of current DNDA housing-development projects – past efforts are listed here; most recently, it’s been working on Strength of Place Village in White Center, in partnership with other community-development organizations.