Katie Bishop can see the new computer lab really taking shape.
“We’re so close I can taste it,” Bishop, the senior pastor at New Hope United Methodist Church of Greater Brunswick, said Thursday.
Bishop is involved in the New Hope Community Partnership, a new nonprofit working toward helping the Brunswick community.
The partnership was formed in April 2016 to address the lack of resources available in the community.
Part of the Unity Campaign of Frederick County, the organization is trying to raise money for a community-based computer lab that people in the Brunswick area can use for job training, resume building and internet access.
New Hope Community Partnership would like to raise $8,000, but it needs about $2,500 to get the facility up and running, including paying for high-speed internet access.
Bishop said the vision is that the computer lab will help unemployed and underemployed people get the skills and services they need without having to go to Frederick or Hagerstown.
Access to a computer is necessary for almost any job you apply for today, she said.
The organization would also like to offer classes for seniors on how to use Facebook and other programs to communicate with their families, to provide room for tutoring, and to serve as a space for community groups to use.
“Once we can open, we are going to be full,” Bishop said.
There has been a need for a program like the partnership in Brunswick for a while now, said Malcolm Furgol, the director of community impact at the United Way of Frederick County.
The United Way is running the Unity Campaign for the first time this year.
Furgol referenced the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed report released in January, which tracks households that earn more than the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford necessities such as housing, food, transportation and health care.
The level of Brunswick at or below the ALICE threshold is 43 percent, which shows a significant level of need in the community, Furgol said.
Many people and families don’t even know where to start when it comes to getting services, and Brunswick doesn’t have a place for people to get information about what type of help is available, Furgol said.
Having a centralized location for people to find out what help is available is the first step in getting them services, he said.
And the New Hope project is a great way for other services in the county to get information to Brunswick residents.
“This feels like a really solid activity,” Furgol said.
Bishop agreed that Brunswick is missing a place that can serve as a community center for people seeking help.
“There isn’t any real community space in downtown Brunswick,” she said.