In the midst of difficult times, we want to update you on our ‘big move’ and thank you so much for your support. We shared the beginning of our move process back in June and will continue to share updates as work progresses.
We hope you saw the photo from the Cummings Foundation celebration back on June 8. Our Executive Director Laura R. Van Zandt was there with Ashleigh and Maribel, two REACH Community Advocates who are extremely excited about this move! (see the video we made to understand the reason why). After we celebrated with the folks at the Cummings Foundation, we got more good news from Jane’s Trust. Jane’s Trust has previously invested in the growth of our work and they committed again with a grant of $90,000 to help with the build out, move and first year operating increases in the new space. Then, a REACH supporter put us in touch with a great organization called The Furniture Trust, a nonprofit that connects used office furnishings with community organizations. The Trust got us started with furniture for the individual offices – desk, chair, and cabinet – all in remarkably good shape. Some generous supporters have contributed to furnish an office or two and we are glad to be able to leverage those gifts to get some really great furniture. We pay only for storage – everything will be moved and installed when we are ready for it!
So where are we now?
We are in the process of pulling permits for the build out. The project involves only a few changes to the existing layout as the perimeter of the space is already complete with offices. In the middle of the 11,000 square feet, there is a big empty space that will be filled with a play area for kids, a meeting room, two advocate offices and two micro offices.
The new space will have several meeting rooms – something we don’t have in our current space. On any given day – or evening – there are several meetings that could be happening at once: a support group, a volunteer meeting or training, a coordinated community response team meeting, a high risk response team meeting. After we move, we will be able to host our twice each year training at the office instead of offsite. We will work collaboratively (and more comfortably!) with partners on community response initiatives. We will create space for youth leaders to meet. We will provide a sunny, open space for support group – or an intimate, comfortable space for support group. We even have the option to offer movement or mind/body groups!
We still need help to furnish these meeting rooms. Please share the latest news about our big move with family and friends and colleagues. Pass along the link to the registry and help us create spaces for gathering, learning, healing, collaboration, and hope.
We look forward to sharing more about the progress of the project with you soon.