Goodbye to College Street

Today, the Fort Hood Support Network, which operates Under the Hood, emailed the following message to supporters:

uthfront.jpgFor six years, the Under the Hood Café and Outreach Center at 17 College in Killeen Texas has served the GI community at Ft. Hood with services, resources, classes, music, poetry, socializing and just a comfortable place for unwinding off base. We should all be proud of the work done, the lives touched and the issues addressed by Under the Hood.

But this year the Fort Hood Support Network board/advisory board has been assessing our effectiveness, abilities and funding, and we have decided to transition to new projects and modes of outreach.

Therefore … we will be leaving the 17 College Street location by the end of the year.

This building has been the launching pad of some pretty amazing work, the site of some epic debates, radical strategy-making, and totally awesome events. It has been the birthplace of many deep, deep friendships, and incredible personal and political growth. It has been a sanctuary and a refuge. Those are powerful connections to the space, but structural and management issues that have grown more and more challenging over the six years of our residence, along with a decline in attendance at events and utilization of the space, have led us to rethink our options.

We have determined that it is not in the best interests of our long-term mission to immediately relocate to another building. The landscape of the movement and the needs of service members are changing. We feel that we need to have a lighter and more flexible approach to serving the GIs at Fort Hood (and beyond). We need to explore new options.

With the agreement of our former part-time director, we have dissolved the staff position in favor of providing stipends to multiple individuals for specific projects and work until we make some long-term decisions.

We are actually quite excited about the potential that a fresh look at the needs of Fort Hood service members avails us. Some of the ideas that we are exploring include a mobile café/resource center, popup shop-style service space, expanded online resources, and a low-power FM radio station for which we have already received FCC approval (more on that soon!)

All in all, Under the Hood is still needed, and the Fort Hood Support Network still has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the work. Our presence in Killeen is going to be different, but it is not going away.

We will always remember and celebrate the powerful work that has been done at 17 College. Closing that door for the last time won’t be easy. But we trust your commitment to Under the Hood has not diminished any more than ours has, and will join us in supporting its future as you have its past

During this coming holiday season, please remember Under the Hood in your charitable giving. Your donations will help us to keep working on and promoting the radio project, and develop new project ideas as they are ready.

Thank you for your support and presence during our awesome tenure at 17 College. Here’s to our next chapter!