What went down...
On August 3rd, 2021, we received a call from our landlord of four years saying that they decided to sell the building we're renting to another party. This was the first time we were even hearing that the building's owner had any desire to sell the building. We were also not offered our own chance to purchase the building. This sale took us by surprise both because it had been in the process for months before we first heard about it, and because we had an agreement with our landlord that he would not displace us or sell the building out from under us. To not violate that agreement, he decided to sell the building with us as tenants, to a group who also wants to use the building for their own purposes. We were not privy to any conversations about that arrangement, and were not told what that would look like for us, how much time or room we would have to give up, or even how much we would be paying to the new owner.
Because we use every room in this building and because COPE's entire existence as a home for the recovery community relies on having a building that we can ensure a safe space in, this sale displaces us from the place we've been working at for the last four years. We're devastated at this loss and are so surprised by how neither party involved in the sale seems to value us or the work that we do for the community. Without a building to use as a recovery community center, COPE simply does not exist. While some of the classes and meetings we host can continue at another site, that wouldn't be COPE anymore. Our long-term vision for everything that COPE can be has been shattered right before our eyes. We're heartbroken and don't want to see COPE have to close.
What comes next...
As of time time of writing this news (August 22, 2021), we still have not been told much about the sale or really anything about what it means for us. We have no idea when the new ownership takes over or when we will have to leave the building. This makes it impossible for us to plan programs for the future or to even promote the programs we currently offer. We have been searching for alternative spaces and can't find anything that meets our needs size-wise, location-wise, and budget-wise. We don't know when, or if, something that works for us will become available. Currently, we are utilizing 10,000 sq ft in this facility and have enough furniture to fill that space. Even when looking for storage spaces to hold all of this stuff, affordable spaces in a 60 mile radius are few and far between. This not only sets us back since we have to find a new space to start over in, but we can no longer receive certain funding because we can't ensure our programs will continue. Although we are trying to remain hopeful and will do everything we can, the future of COPE is very uncertain.
How you can help...
Since this sale is setting us back so much, we're raising money to hopefully find a new building and get our programs back up and running as soon as possible. If we're unable to find a comparable building anytime soon, we'll use the money we raise for storage spaces while we continue our search. We may also use the money for legal aid. If all else fails, we will use the money we raise to increase or continue our programming however we possible can.
Please visit our GoFundMe page to donate or share about our cause on social media. GoFundMe requires a minimum donation of $5.00, but if you want to donate less, or just want to make your donation privately, we are also accepting donations on Venmo or Paypal.
If you would like to make a donation by check or want to help us another way, please Contact Us.
We originally set our GoFundMe for $175,000 when we thought we might have an opportunity to counteroffer the sale of the building we're in, but since we no longer think we'll have that opportunity, we have lowered our GoFundMe to $20,000. As we assess the situation and as we hopefully find another building, we will update our GoFundMe accordingly.
Please also sign up for email updates from COPE to keep up to date on what we're doing.
Thank you all for everything.