Sol Center hopes to break ground in Breckenridge in one month
Building Hope and the Family and Intercultural Center are nearing construction of their community-oriented Sol Center in Breckenridge. The planned food market, thrift store and office space aims to bring together both nonprofits in one location.
The two organizations were once closely knit: from 2017 to 2019 Building Hope was “incubated” in the Family and Intercultural Resource Center before Building Hope became its own organization, Building Hope executive director Jennifer McAtamney explained.
The partnership between the Family and Intercultural Resource Center and Building Hope — which is a nonprofit that aims to address mental health issues in Summit County — would save the two organizations almost $200,000 annually, according to a presentation made to Frisco Town Council Tuesday. All of those savings would return to the community as rental, utility, medical and mental health assistance, the presentation stated.
“We spend a lot of money making sure people can walk in them and the ceiling doesn’t fall down on them,” Family and Intercultural Resource Center executive director Brianne Snow said.
Demand for food and housing resources are 1.5 times higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to the presentation, which noted that inflation has especially impacted residents’ access to affordable food.
The Sol Center has gathered 71% of the building project’s estimated cost, which is just under $11.9 million. A combination of fundraising, allocations from local governments and donations — including a million-dollar donation from the Dudick Family Foundation — has brought the amount raised to almost $8.5 million.
“We’re looking for full participation from the towns and our county,” Snow explained.
Snow and fellow fundraisers are asking Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne for help funding the project. The Summit County government has provided $325,000 in loan forgiveness, she said.
The nonprofits expect to submit building plans to the Breckenridge Building Department before the end of the month, according to their expected timeline, with groundbreaking slated for Sept. 26, 2022. Construction would complete sometime in autumn 2024.
The Sol Center will be located on the 3.5 acres of the 128 Acre McCain Property along Colorado Highway 9 and Coyne Valley Road. The McCain Property aims to add 250 rental units through the Alta Verde workforce housing project.
When asked why the Silverthorne-based Family and Intercultural Resource Center was moving to Breckenridge, McAtamney said two-thirds of Family and Intercultural Resource Center clients either live or work in the Upper Blue River Basin.
“Building Hope and (Family and Intercultural Resource Center) has had space issues for pretty much our entire existence,” Snow said, adding that the resource center has moved in and out of five different buildings over the course of its existence. “We really need space and our clients are really suffering,” Snow said.
Snow added that her organization would continue working with the town of Silverthorne to keep a food market on the north end of the county.
Snow and McAtamney said their nonprofits support one in three Summit County residents in meeting their basic needs of food, housing, income, education, medical and mental health care, and social support.
“It’s really hard to live here,” Snow said. “They’ve exhausted their savings.”
Ultimately, McAtamney and Snow said their organizations can help keep workers well and in the community, potentially aiding in the workforce shortage.
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