Missoula’s City Life Center in Jeopardy, Needs $47,000 in Less Than 48 Hours
Update October 11: After given a brief extension, the City Life Community Center is now just hours away from running out of time to reduce their mortgage so that they can refinance. According to the center's director, Brent Gyuricza, after raising over $700,000, they still need to raise $47,000 before Sunday to keep the building afloat.
Of course a big donation would work, but there are other ways of raising the funds. "We just need a 197,000 people to pledge 20 dollars a month for 12 months and we're there!" Gyuricza said.
Original, September 23: In Missoula, a collection of non-profits like Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Club, and even the city's parks and recreation department, operate out of the City Life Community Center near the fairgrounds. The organization runs on more than 90 percent private donations, and is currently rushing to secure a refinance loan before the start of October.
City Life Director Brent Gyuricza said finances have been tough from the start.
"We finished up our building in 2008," Gyuricza said. "We had our grand opening in 2009, and between completion of the building and our grand opening, the stock market dropped by half. We lost over $600,000. We went into the next year like a lot of people saying, 'Oh, it will rebound, bubbles burst, and we move on, and things pop back,' but, as we all know now, it has been a tough four years on everyone... especially tough for non-profits."
Twice, City Life was close to a bond deal with the City of Missoula, but both times the city decided to pull away and spend the money elsewhere.
"We started initially doing a bond refinance that would have been supported and have gone through the city," Gyuritza said. "We were slated to take advantage of that about this time last year, but unfortunately the dollars got allocated elsewhere. There was a hope that, coming into the beginning of this year, we would still be able to jump back in there, but the dollars did not present themselves."
Without a bond negotiation with the city as an option, City Life is going to banks and the private sector for support.
"It's not that our loan to debt ratio is astronomical or out-of-control, but because of the last four years of the economy, our loan-to-debt ratio combined with our annual income make it really tough for a bank to get us refinanced at a rate that actually helps," Gyuritza said. "So, that has been the struggle, trying to get out of that higher risk finance rating."
Gyuritza said that an individual is willing to buy out the City Life loan and refinance the building. In order to do that though, City Life needs to gather $650,000 in signed pledges, commitments, or donations toward that purpose by October 1. On top of that, City Life needs to gather another $100,000 by September of 2015.
"Success means a $7,000 drop in our monthly payment," Gyuricza said, adding that a drop of that amount would allow the City Life building to "100 percent cash flow itself." In order to do that though, City Life must gather the required donations within six days.