The building at 3-11 Fowler Street in Port Jervis has served many purposes for many people over the last seven years. It has been a food pantry, a homeless shelter and an education center.

"Empowering Port Jervis,” a community-based organization that sought to give back to its community, hosted what many thought was a goodbye party Sunday.

The group was helped into creation by local civil rights attorney Michael Sussman, who paid the rent for the storefront.

But during the gathering, it was announced that long-time volunteers had successfully transitioned the group from one endowed by Sussman to something the community could fundraise for.

"It’s a celebration of a transition from my sponsorship, if you will, to empowering Port Jervis to a community sponsoring it and taking ownership of what’s happening here,” Sussman said.

"This center has connected many people and has served many people in a really positive genuine way and it would be nice if that could continue,” said Empowering Port Jervis member Barbara Marszalek.

Members say that they will continue to fundraise and develop a more-refined leadership base with which to run this new version of Empowering.