The road from homelessness to affordable housing is often bumpy -- and in this case, literally so.
Bear Creek Christian Church is looking for help to replace the main road onto the former Crossroads Bible College campus, which it converted to housing two years ago. The work will cost $120,000.
"The campus houses families from all walks of life — people saving up for a new home, folks coming out of incarceration, working families struggling to make ends meet, newer refugee families, and more," the church stated in announcing plans to make road repairs. "There are 43 units on the campus, with plans to add more housing as funds allow."
The church is seeking to raise $75,000 to subsidize the cost of the road repairs, which were previously slated to be done in 2020. That schedule has been moved up.
“The problem was that this past winter wreaked havoc on our already-deteriorated road,” said Jeff Urban, Bear Creek's outreach pastor. “If we can fundraise $75,000, it will help us avoid borrowing money for this repair, and keep us on solid financial footing."
The church keeps rents at the campus at 70 percent of market rate, but it reports being on track to invest $450,000 within its first two years at the site. Additionally, the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing has pledged $350,000 to help with critical repairs to the apartments.
As the initial work continues, the church is also planning a larger capital campaign to help sustain the property into the future, and to add 17 studio apartments.
“We know there is no end in sight to the affordable housing crisis in the Rochester area," said Bear Creek Lead Pastor Aaron Wager. "If new units were available today, we would have them filled right away."
Anyone interested in contributing to the road project can direct their tax-deductible donations to: Bear Creek Christian Church, 1765 Restoration Road SW, Rochester, MN 55902.