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Unity Shoppe Launches Campaign to Buy Building

The organization looks to raise $3 million to purchase space on West Sola Street in Santa Barbara

Unity Shoppe has announced a capital campaign to purchase a $3 million building.

The nonprofit organization lost its rights to lease or purchase Victoria Hall Theater for program use, fundraising purposes and the annual Unity Telethon, which accounts for one-third of its annual budget.

To accommodate its many services, Unity Shoppe determined that a new building is necessary. A building at 110 W. Sola St., a block from Unity’s present facilities, has been secured. It would allow Unity to continue services to those who temporarily lost their jobs, had hours cut, or suffered the loss of their homes because of fire and disaster. In addition, it would provide space for the management of the 10 programs that Unity Shoppe offers for disaster services and to those experiencing temporary crisis.

More than 22,000 clients are referred to Unity by 300 other nonprofit agencies, churches, schools and hospitals. The additional 10,000 square feet for program services would reduce Unity’s fixed overhead by nearly $20,000 per month and allow for future growth.

The support of $500,000 from Annette and Harold Simmons began Unity’s capital campaign. Unity’s board of directors has an additional pledge of $100,000 to demonstrate support of the effort, leaving a balance to be raised of $2.4 million. It is the hope of the Simmonses that their support will encourage others to join them in helping the Unity Shoppe continue serving the community.

Unity Shoppe needs to finish the campaign in 60 days to prepare for its annual Unity Telethon.

Send donations to the Unity Shoppe Building Fund, c/o Accountability Plus, 1219 State St., Santa Barbara 93101. For more information, call Tom Reed at 805.455.1921 or Barbara Tellefson at 805.886.2323.

— Tom Reed is the executive director of Unity Shoppe.

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