As you may or may not know, the whole “move to a new building” process began when the board realized that our current building is completely inadequate for our growing needs. The wireless internet system does not travel from the back of the building to the front because of the refrigerators and other items sucking the signal away. The front client area is completely inadequate given the need for client privacy during intake, and comfort while they wait for their food. We had to purchase a shed to help store the food we gather at the food drives. Parking is complete chaos. We have to use the church parking across the street to accommodate the cars during board meetings, and park on the street as well. The driveway is inadequate to handle the SA Food Bank trucks so they can do deliveries. Sanitation (ie hand washing and disinfection during these corona virus times) is woefully inadequate in the front area. There are probably more inadequacies but I can’t think of them now.

I hope to show you in future what the space next door will look like when it’s done. In so many ways it will be an improvement over what we have now, especially in the areas of clients’ privacy and comfort. There are separate men’s and women’s bathrooms in the front area. There are several private rooms for client intake and recertification. What I see as a huge benefit will be a “drive through” arrangement so clients can drive their cars around the back and have their bags loaded into their cars in a quick and private manner, then they would drive the rest of the way around the building and out onto the street. This will not happen immediately after closing, but they have a plan to renovate the building quickly and at least get the client intake over to the new building as soon as possible. We will also be building a new warehouse on the other side of the new building to replace the one we’re in now, and use our current building as storage till then. As far as funding, in addition to a loan from Prosperity Bank, we are getting grants for much of the purchase and renovation costs, and the vacant lot on the corner will be sold as soon as feasible for a considerable percentage of the overall cost. The old warehouse lot will also be sold. The realtor who facilitated the sale has donated his fee to save us money. The architect from the SALT team has donated the plans for the new space, and the team will do the renovations at no charge. Other avenues are being considered as well. There will be more information coming, but this is what I know so far. Blessings to all the volunteers while we work through this!

In Faith, Mike Z

P.S. from Pastor Scott:
SOS has staid open during this crisis to help the neediest in our community. Faith UCC staffed it on our usual day on the third Friday of March, March 20th, from 1-4 p.m. SOS provided food for 16 families, many of them coming for the first time to receive an emergency food alotment. We will be back there on Friday, April 17th from 1-4.