Saying goodbye is never easy.
The Dyker Heights community said its final goodbyes to the historic Angel Guardian Home on Saturday, November 5 at a farewell party at the home hosted by MercyFirst.
Employees, former volunteers and former residents were able to share memories with one another and say goodbye to a place that they once used to call home.
“Once we knew we were leaving the site, we wanted those involved in any way to make sure they said their goodbyes in their own way,” said Harleen Dennis, senior vice president of family foster care at MercyFirst.
Dennis, who spent 32 years at her office in the Angel Guardian Home, is just as emotional about the move as those who had lived there when they were children.
“I’m still in denial,” said Dennis. “I’ve been working at this site since 1984.”
The Sisters of Mercy announced they were selling the 140,000-square-foot home back in February, 2016. Since 1902, the home took in hundreds of orphans and became a formal adoption agency in the 1970s. In 2003, the order formed the MercyFirst network.
“Angel Guardian Home gave us our chance of having children,” said Bernadette Snee, who adopted five children with her husband, Timothy.
Snee, who traveled from Long Island with her family to say her goodbyes, had been a longtime volunteer of the home and kept donating her time even after she adopted her children.
“It’s hard not being able to come back,” said Snee.
Although the community was able to say its farewells, the move to the new offices in Industry City in Sunset Park won’t be complete until January. There is still no word on who is buying the property.
“We are cautiously optimistic and we know the Sisters of Mercy will sell it to the right place,” said Sister Margaret Dempsey of MercyFirst.
Despite its uncertain future, Angel Guardian Home will live on through the memories of the people who had cared about the facility and the children who lived there.
“Our memories will stick with us forever,” said Snee.