You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Agency expands, buys former bus station

Energy program has outgrown its downtown Springfield location.


A local non-profit organization will expand its energy assistance program to a new location downtown, filling a long vacant building.

Opportunities for Individual Change of Clark County, 10 S. Yellow Springs St., will move its Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, into the former Greyhound bus station, 600 W. Main St.

The HEAP program serves between 4,000 and 5,000 residents per year, said OIC Executive Director Mike Calabrese. He said the program has outgrown the space at OIC’s headquarters.

“It’s too big of a drain on this facility,” Calabrese said. “Parking becomes an issue, space becomes an issue. It’s a better way to operate the program.”

Center City Association Interim Executive Director Elaine Morris Roberts said any time a downtown structure is put into reproductive use, it breathes new life into the building and the neighborhood.

“Any time any one is willing to make an investment in a downtown structure, it’s a positive thing,” Morris Roberts said.

The federally funded energy assistance program aids residents who face having their utilities disconnected or individuals who participate in percentage of income programs with utility companies. The program receives about $610,000 in funding per year.

“Those are the two main services we provide,” Calabrese said.

The station was built in 1976, but has sat vacant since Greyhound closed its operation in 2005. Greyhound moved, now operating at a stop in the Southern Village Shopping Center at Selma Road and Sunset Avenue.

OIC spent $70,000 to purchase the property, and expects to spend another $25,000 on renovations, including a new roof.

“The building is well-suited for what we want,” Calabrese said.

As many as eight employees will work from that location, Calabrese said.

The site was ideal, he said, because it remains close to OIC’s headquarters and offers plenty of paved parking. The agency also wanted to keep the location near downtown.

“We wanted to stay in the general vicinity of downtown so it’s centrally located,” Calabrese said.

According to its tax records, OIC brought in about $3.2 million in revenue in 2011, most of which comes from contributions and grants from the federal government. The nonprofit — which has a mission of eliminating poverty, unemployment and illiteracy in Clark County — also runs an ex-offender program, job placement assistance and an alternative high school from its current location.

“By having its own location, (the HEAP program) may be even more useful for customers who need the help,” Calabrese said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

COMMENTARY: Can Democrats save Trump from himself?

After President Donald Trump’s first legislative battle, a deplorably stingy attempt to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, went down without a vote in the House, I wondered: What happened to all of the “winning”? “We are gonna win, win, win,” Trump had promised at a National Rifle Association...
COMMENTARY: Paul Ryan a convenient scapegoat for Trump’s failure

Paul Ryan did it. That’s the argument many of the louder voices on the right are shouting. In the story they tell, the speaker of the House is fully responsible for the GOP’s failure to pass an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill last week. President Trump should walk across a Havana ballroom like Michael Corleone in “The Godfather...
Tennessee day care at which child was kidnapped closes for good
Tennessee day care at which child was kidnapped closes for good

Days after a child was kidnapped from Elite Academy Inc., the Memphis, Tennessee, day care has closed its doors for good. A Department of Human Services spokesperson said an investigation into the day care is ongoing, but the owner voluntarily shut down the business. The closure is permanent. On Thursday, 7-month-old A’Laleh Fentress was checked...
Police: Bus driver set to take kids on field trip was high on marijuana
Police: Bus driver set to take kids on field trip was high on marijuana

Authorities arrested a school bus driver Tuesday after he allegedly drove a bus while high on marijuana. Officers were called Tuesday morning to Chelmsford High School in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, after students reported smelling a strange odor on the school bus they had boarded for a field trip. The students notified a teacher, who contacted the...
Air Force Marathon sign up cost going up
Air Force Marathon sign up cost going up

Running in the Air Force Marathon will get a little more expensive soon if you haven’t signed up for one of the series of races. Registration fees will rise $10 for the full- and half-marathon and the 10K races on Tuesday, April 4, organizers say. Today, registration costs for the full marathon are $95; half-marathon, $85; and 10K, $4. The races...
More Stories