LIFT-UP of Routt County is getting close to its goal of building an 8,100-square-foot building for its Steamboat offices.
As of Monday, LIFT-UP had raised $355,000, including $60,000 in in-kind donations. With another $100,000 in donations and in-kind contributions expected to come this week, the organization could be just $45,000 from its $500,000 local funding goal.
The estimated cost of the building is between $900,000 and $1.1 million, and LIFT-UP plans to make up the remaining costs through grants and possibly a $200,000 mortgage.
Whether LIFT-UP will receive some of those grants is yet to be decided, and LIFT-UP would prefer not to carry a mortgage, said Gary Haberlan, chairman of LIFT-UP's capital campaign. So, any community support above the $500,000 mark would be helpful, he said.
"We want to just say that we've been very thankful for the community response that we've received, but we're also realistic that we're not 100 percent of the way that we need to get," Haberlan said.
The donations have ranged from $25 to $20,000, said David Freseman, LIFT-UP executive director.
Recently, LIFT-UP received $25,000 from the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s charitable fund through the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
"It's beneficial for the entire community to have the three locations that they currently have now in one central location," spokeswoman Heidi Thomsen said. "Plus, LIFT-UP provides help to the Steamboat community's seasonal employees who find that they might sometimes rely on external factors outside of their control for income."
Haberlan said the group has been pleased with the level of support.
"We've always known that there has been a basis of support in the community for the organization," he said. "It has been very satisfying to see the element of support, but I wouldn't say we're very surprised. We're very pleased."
The program already has received a $285,000 Community Development Block grant from the Department of Local Affairs to purchase the 1-acre lot on Curve Court for the building. Other grants LIFT-UP has applied for will be awarded this fall.
With funding in place, construction could begin in late summer or early fall and the building could be finished by early spring 2006.
Currently, LIFT-UP's programs -- the food bank, administrative offices, thrift store and donation center -- are spread among three rented locations. A central, permanent location would ensure LIFT-UP's future, provide much-needed space, save funds and make the programs less confusing to clients and donors.
LIFT-UP provides charitable assistance for people who are unemployed or poor and who have emergency needs. In 2004, LIFT-UP served more than 3,000 clients through its food bank and emergency assistance program. Each year it gives out about $150,000 worth of food and emergency assistance to people.
To make a donation or to get more information, contact LIFT-UP at 870-0727 or at P.O. Box 881145, Steamboat Springs, CO 80488. Donations can be mailed directly to the LIFT-UP address.