Long Branch Reopens to Community After Filling in as Homeless Shelter

After being closed to the community for most of the pandemic, Long Branch Community Recreation and Senior Center welcomes back residents Monday, May 16 with a new coat of paint, restored gym floors and new landscaping.

During the pandemic, Montgomery County opted to use Long Branch and Coffield Community Centers as shelter for its homeless population. The extra space was needed because beds in other shelters had to be rearranged to account for social distancing, allowing fewer people per shelter. Also the county opted to house the homeless population throughout the year during the pandemic rather than just in the very cold months.

With the recent opening of the new Nebel Street Shelter in Rockville, the county no longer needed the extra space. However, it took time to bring the recreation centers back to their original purpose.

“Finally. Long Overdue,” Long Branch community resident Annie Tulkin told My MCM.

Residents had been told the two community centers would reopen at the beginning of 2022. Work on the gym floors is still being done at Coffield and no opening date has been announced.

“The reopening of the Long Branch Community Recreation and Senior Center makes it possible for the center to once again be a place for young people, families, older adults to spend their leisure time,” said Montgomery County Recreation Director Robin Riley. “We are working behind the scenes, with the Department of General Services, to have a refreshed facility that is beautifully landscaped with high-quality recreation programming for everyone.”

Long Branch, located at 8700 Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring, once again will hold sports clinics, cooking classes, fitness, martial arts and futsal and other programming for youth and adults. It will feature a new Long Branch Soccer Futsal Academy with weekly skill trainings for children from five to 17 years. reopening event on May 21 will include dancing, music, food, inflatables, face painting and games.

A seven-week summer fun center will be offered in partnership with Strathmore and Adventist Services.

From June 6 to 10, the senior center will celebrate the reopening with free lessons on the exercise equipment, musical entertainment and coffee and breakfast treats. The senior center will offer daily fitness and wellness classes, mini-trips and writing and drawing programs as well as a July 4th bar-b-que.

The center will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. On Fridays, the hours will be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Senior Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 .m. weekdays.

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