The ROC in a hard place
The ROC center, a Rifle-based nonprofit, finds itself it familiar territory, although the urgency this time around is much greater.
In less than three weeks, the ROC, an acronym for Reach-Out Colorado Inc., will have to leave the warehouse space it has operated out of for the past several years. And unless it can find another space in that time, the nonprofit will be forced to press pause on some of its charitable programs and drastically augment others.
“This is an urgent need,” said Dave Bottroff, Reach-Out Colorado executive director.
Founded in 2012, ROC serves as a resource and referral center connecting those who are down on their luck with vital services, such as financial assistance for paying utility bills.
As of the end of August, 235 people in 85 families in Rifle and Parachute received emergency assistance in the form of food, help with utilities, rent and car repair through the ROC, totaling roughly $14,725.
In addition to that work, the ROC also spearheads the Totes of Hope program, which provides food to school children in Rifle who might not receive adequate nutrition on the weekends, as well as the Angel Tree program, which provides gifts to children during the holiday season.
Both of those programs are coordinated out of the empty warehouse space that has been donated for nearly three years by a local electrician business.
The space also serves as storage for an annual coat drive in the fall.
The ROC ran into a similar issue around this time last fall when the business indicated it would not be renewing its lease due to slumping business. Bottroff put out a plea for help, stating the ROC would soon be without space to operate its programs.
That did not happen, though.
Understanding that it might sound like deja vu, Bottroff said this go around is different. The business that donated the space has found a new location in Grand Junction and is already moving its equipment.
The space occupied by the business sat mostly empty Wednesday morning as Bottroff prepared some of the first round of totes for the year.
Bottroff already canceled a food delivery for the totes program that was scheduled for next week. This week is the first for the totes during the 2016-17 school year, and with approximately 270 area children requesting the totes — families must both qualify for the assistance and request it — this year is one of the largest starts in the program’s history.
Bottroff guesses they have enough food currently to go another two weeks. Until a new space is found, the ROC will likely have to suspend the program after the current stock of food runs out.
“That’s sad but that’s what’s going to have to happen,” he said.
The uncertainty surrounding the space issue also could affect the Angel Tree program, which provided 340 Christmas gifts to underprivileged children last year, and coat drive, a collaboration between Canyon Cleaners, the Salvation Army, the River Center and the ROC.
Collections for both of those programs start in the next several months.
So far, Bottroff has been in contact with three parties who have expressed varying degrees of interest in lending space. None of them sound too certain at the moment, according to Bottroff.
Currently the ROC uses about 1,400 square feet, but Bottroff said they could operate in about 1,000 square feet.
Since the ROC is a registered nonprofit, any donated space would be tax deductible, he added.
Anyone interested in helping can contact Bottroff at 970-309-0384.
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