Herron Keyon Gaston

State Senator

Herron Keyon Gaston

Deputy Majority Leader

Empowering Communities, Driving Change

March 14, 2023

Senator Gaston Celebrates Over $10 Million Being Allocated To Projects In 23rd District

Today, state Senator Herron Keyon Gaston (D-Bridgeport) is celebrating funds released to Bridgeport and Stratford during the Community Investment Fund meeting. Bridgeport applied for Community Investment Funds (CIF) that will help finish the Civic Block project and renovate “The Bridge on Main.” Stratford is also receiving funds for renovations to the South End Community Center.

The CIF is awarding $3.5 million that will aid in the completion of the East End development known as the Civic Block. Funds will be used to complete construction to create 35,000 ft2 of retail space, including a grocery store in a neighborhood that is currently a food desert.

The CIF is giving $4,536,250 to the ‘Bridge on Main’ in Bridgeport. This CIF award will assist the renovation of 1085-1095 Main Street to facilitate a suite of programs designed to help level the playing field for returning citizens and justice-impacted individuals. Programs will include job training, job placement, case management, referrals to support services, and onsite social enterprises. Additional spaces will be designed and available for use by tenants, local businesses, and organizations for community events.

“I am very grateful that Bridgeport is getting the funding it so desperately needs,” said Sen. Gaston. “Our residents deserve a friendly atmosphere that provides a one-stop-shop and addresses the essential needs of our residents. Revamping the Civic Block is mission critical in assisting in the revitalization, resurgence, and the vitality of the East end. Many low-income residents don’t have the means to afford transportation and they deserve a grocery store, pharmacy, and Bank that is easily accessible in their respective neighborhood. I am also ecstatic that our returning citizens will receive an enhancement in services and programs designed to help level the playing field for justice impacted individuals and to put them on a pathway to success as they reintegrate back into society. The Bridge on Main project has been a top legislative priority of mine and many of my colleagues. Governor Lamont approving this funding for Bridgeport allows our community to continue to move forward in the right direction.”.

The CIF is also awarding the City of Stratford $2,446,463 to fund the interior and exterior renovation of the South End Community Center. The improvements will result in expanded after school program capacity, additional office space for social service programming, expansion of capacity in the community food pantry, expanded capacity for daycare programming enrollment and increase the accessibility of space for seniors.

“The South End Community Center harbors some of the most eclectic and diverse community members with a sustainable suite of programs that work to make our residents successful,” said Sen. Gaston. “The improvements being made will enhance the occupancy and allow for the success of even more young students, providing for a bigger gesture to help those with food insecurity, and provide a safe haven for our seniors and most vulnerable residents. As a major champion for this project, I am thankful to Governor Lamont for approving this much needed funding that will make our community center a secure outlet for our community.”

“Currently, The South End Community Center offers emergency food pantry services to Stratford Residents. Emergency food services are also available for those individuals who receive food stamp assistance or come with an agency referral regardless of residency. The center also offers a variety of enrichment programs for school-aged children, as well as programs that help people in need.

The CIF fosters economic development in historically underserved communities across the state.