Declaration House breaks ground for 3.5 million project

By on September 26, 2018
What made Declaration Project a reality was the purchase of the former Denver House on Main Street, Denver. Pictured are Real Life Community Ministry CEO Rod Redcay (left), whose organization is buying and developing the site and Ray D’Agostino, CEO of LHOP, Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, which coordinated purchase of the former Denver House. Photos by Alice Hummer

What made Declaration Project a reality was the purchase of the former Denver House on Main Street, Denver. Pictured are Real Life Community Ministry CEO Rod Redcay (left), whose organization is buying and developing the site and Ray D’Agostino, CEO of LHOP, Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, which coordinated purchase of the former Denver House. Photos by Alice Hummer

The Sept. 17 ground-breaking for medical, dental and mental health offices plus ten affordable apartments is the result of vision, community support, and divine guidance.

The 3.5 million dollar Declaration House project, at the former Denver House on Main Street site, is under the auspices of Real Life Community Services with CEO Rod Redcay and his board of directors.

The groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the huge business and community support to date.

Cash gifts from 23 donors range from $10,000 to more than $50,000. Gifts in kind from 26 businesses range from $10,000 to more than $40,000. Many local churches and individuals have also contributed.

Ray D’Agostino, executive director for Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, explained that when Redcay interviewed with his organization, there might have been doubt about funding the massive project. Redcay had no experience for projects of this size and his organization was green.

“When Rod spoke to LHOP, the vibrancy of the Denver community and other organizations behind this project showed us it had what it took to succeed,” said D’Agostino.

“One thing I realized in working with Rod is that this is God at work. Early in the project, Denver Borough pledged $35,000 to the project from their Downtown Development budget line. Welsh Mountain Health Services came on board, as well as Ephrata National Bank.”

D’Agostino stressed there’s still much to be done and opportunities exist for others to get involved with service and donations.

Redcay shared that four years ago, a close friend asked him, “What’s up with that building next to Turkey Hill?”

The next day at a ministerium meeting, when Rodney requested prayer for the community’s “darkest building,” one minister said, “That’s easy, it’s the Denver House.” The deteriorated building, for sale for a long time, attracted a population which consistently needed police intervention.

During the prayer, Redcay felt a need to search his phone for possible building names beginning with a “D.” Up came the word “declaration,” meaning to make a public statement.

Almost immediately after this, Pastor Gene Weaver prayed, “We need to make this house a declaration to you.”

“Another call by God,” said Redcay.

Redcay credited borough manager Mike Hession with connecting him to LHOP and D’Agostino when he inquired with whom to talk about low cost housing for Denver.

Evidence of political support for this type of project involving cooperation of many entities was evident with all three county commissioners — Craig Lehman, Josh Parsons and Dennis Stuckey-present.

Senator Ryan Aument was unable to attend. Representative Mindy Fee, who has an office in Denver, was described as a “good friend of the project,” by Redcay. Senator Lloyd Smucker spoke about the improvement to the community and project’s merits.

Fourteen shiny shovels awaited representatives from the supporting groups present. Others were invited to partake in the ground breaking with edible “mud pies” made of chocolate pudding and gummy worms.

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