“Vision is the ability to see potential in what others overlook (Warren).” The Long family has long been visionaries for how to transform the community. There are complex problems that require simple solutions: like building more schools in Haiti so that the children can be provided with food, clean water, and education. Then there are simple issues that require creativity and craftsmanship: like transforming a tattered warehouse into a 4000 sq ft gym that is open to the community. Mission E4 has a long history of serving communities in whatever fashion they are called to.
In 2018, the vision in the Great Brook Valley community had grown much larger than the space Mission E4 currently had to use. In late 2018, a purchase was made. 610 Lincoln Street was a former Caribbean restaurant that has closed, and the property directly next to it was vacant. With some TLC and creativity, the space was transformed into a community center for kids and youth in Worcester. A former restaurant was now a café for the children and youth to hang out in a safe space, be provided a meal or snack, and develop healthy relationships with our caring staff members.
The center continued to grow, which required more space, and of course, more vision. A stair tower that spans three stories serves to connect the properties and has become a focal point of the center. The stair tower was engineered and designed to have an “urban treehouse” feel as you make your way to the top.
Unfortunately, the pandemic demanded that some construction and development of the Worcester Center come to a halt. Although, this never meant the vision was going away. Every year Mission E4 develops a plan of projects they want to accomplish in the new year. It is called the Big 4 for E4 projects. Worcester was a big part of those plans; an outdoor sports park that the community could call their own. There is a basketball hoop and some fencing to keep the children out of the parking lot, but the vision is much more remarkable. The plans were in place, and the concept was developed.
A special thank you to the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation for helping to make those dreams become a reality. Construction of the sports park will begin late this week. Without Mission E4's supporters, our visions would never become a reality. Follow us on social media for the latest on our sports park development.