Reach Inc. meets funding goal for new building

Reach Inc. raises $275K for new work center
Source: Michael Becker of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Reach Inc. has pulled it off.

The nonprofit organization that provides vocational and residential support for more than 100 adults with disabilities announced it has met its fund-raising goal of $275,000.

The money will go towards building a new $1.7 million work facility in Bozeman.

The demand for services at Reach, a local fixture for more than 30 years, has hit peak capacity and the organization's work center is not large enough to fit its needs.

"A lot of the clients need more room than maybe the average worker does to deal with their particular needs," said Jay Winchester, Reach's Community Relations & Development Director. "The new building will allow us to serve more people with disabilities."

At the center, Reach workers do light production and assembly work for local businesses. These are paid jobs for clients who have not yet found employment in the community.

But Reach's building at 2134 Industrial Drive leaves much to be desired.

"This building is an old warehouse, so the use of the space was limited by the way the building was built," Winchester said.

The new facility will be a "purpose-built" space, Winchester said, with wider doorways and elevators to better accommodate clients' needs.

Last week, Reach hired an architect, and preliminary plans are already in the works for a structure roughly 1.5 times larger than the existing building.

"It'll be a much more efficient use of the space," he said.

The building will also be better positioned on the property.

"The location now is very tight," Winchester said. "So when you've got three or four semis parked at nearby businesses, it becomes dangerous for our clients. Sometimes, you can't even get to the work center."

The new center will be off Manley Road in the Gallatin Park subdivision.

In addition to its capital campaign, Reach has raised money through selling its old property, financing and grant writing. The Montana Department of Commerce recently approved a Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 for the organization, and those funds will become available in April.

As of October 2004, the fund-raising effort was $13,000 short of the goal. Winchester believes news of the grant approval, city support and overall awareness of Reach's mission are the major reasons the organization bridged that gap.

"There are a lot of people in the Bozeman community who are aware of what we do and who support what we do," Winchester said.

Reach will break ground on the new building this summer and Winchester said he hopes to move in by summer 2006. The new and improved facility can't come soon enough. The waiting list for jobs in the work center is long at both state and local levels. Statewide, there are more than a thousand people waiting.

"In the last two years, we've actually had to start turning people away," Winchester said. "We want to make sure that doesn't happen."

Written By:Robert French On March 11, 2005 1:57 AM

Nice to find your blog. Caught your PRWeb release and came on by for a look. Always enjoy sharing blogs by writers with my students ... especially when they are sharing information about disability issues (one of my favorite topics).

I've added a link and we'll be dropping by. All the best with your new blog.

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