The Non-Profit Crisis
It is a major problem, hinging on a crisis, for non-profits. Rapidly escalating real estate costs and competition for space has resulted in a crisis of affordability and availability for Edmonton's non-profits. This is not just a made-in-Edmonton problem, it is effecting non-profit agencies around the globe. As real estate costs inflate the funding received stays the same or is cut. All you have to do is Google "non-profit space crisis" and you will see this is a problem faced in many municipalities, many of whom have formed committees, coalitions, and groups to try to address this crisis. When Edmonton charities were asked what among their biggest challenges, sustainable funding and space are among the top answers.
ABC Head Start is no different. We are currently facing a space crisis in one of the highest needs areas we serve, Millwoods. We currently serve 96 families in the area but many families sit on a wait list. Why have we never expanded in this area? Space is at a premium. We do not have access to space for even one more classroom. And what's more troubling, because of partners expanding other programs next year we are losing access to space in TWO out of THREE of the sites we are currently located in. And this seems to be a trend, a problem that will only get worse not better, as we brace ourselves for coming years and other sites around the city facing the same fate.
The hunt for space in Millwoods has not been an easy one, and we have yet to secure anything for the 2013-2014 school year. Most places we have looked are charging 6 times what we are currently paying and looking at our budget we are wondering how we possibly fit the expanding cost in. This has become a priority of our Leadership team and we hope the community will rally behind us to help us find the space or funding we so critically need so we can continue to serve Edmonton's most vulnerable Children and Families.
Do you have ideas on affordable space for ABC Head Start programs? Do you want to help us continue to help children and families achieve success in learning and life? We are welcome your innovative thoughts, solutions, suggestions or financial support! If you want to get involved email Christi Lein, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about ABC Head Start by clicking here. We believe in the strength and support of community, we couldn't operate without it.