SANDSTON, Va. (WWBT) - A Henrico non-profit, which helps low-income families and the homeless, is on the hunt for a new home itself.
The Way Outreach started in 2015 as a mobile food ministry, later moving into a building on Williamsburg Road in December 2016. In 2018 the group moved in to its current location at 105 Williamsburg Road in Sandston, but now the non-profit needs more space.
"Right now, we're really maxed out of where we are and we only have until September or October to find something else," said Executive Director Brian Purcell.
"It's pretty busy in this little bitty building,” said Susie McCormick, who handles the food department. “Plus, we have the thrift store now that helps offset some of it."
Four months ago, The Way Outreach opened a thrift store as a way to fund the work it does.
"All the items have been given to us through estate sales, moving sales, garage sales," Purcell said.
In turn, the money is used to help the non-profit give back to the community which includes providing meals.
“[We] offer food for those who are food insecure, living in pockets of poverty,” Purcell said. “One of the things that separates us from food pantries is instead of just giving the food we actually require them to volunteer one hour in exchange.”
It’s during that hour the group helps them find jobs, places to live, to help get them back on their feet.
"We average about 3,000 people a month," Purcell added.
"We service probably 300 bags out of here in a month,” McCormick said. “[As you can see] it's an 8x8 [room]. The room up where all the refrigerators are, that's where all the food is stored. So we're always stepping on each other, there's never enough room."
It’s an obstacle the group has been dealing with for quite some time, but the reality set in roughly a month ago.
"The owner of the properly, she wants to be able to use the property for something else,” Purcell said.
The relationship between the property owner and the non-profit remains positive, but Purcell added the time is right to find a new space; something more than just 1,000 square feet.
"We're hoping for the new place to be able to give us space for a thrift store, our food distribution area, and also to be able to have an employment center, computer classes and things like that," he said.
Ideally the group would like to stay in the east end due to the number of volunteers who walk there.
“We want to be able to stay in an area where people who have used us and benefited from our resources, so they can continue to get that without going too far out of the way,” Purcell said.
While they do have some wiggle room timing wise to find a place, the non-profit also relies on faith; something they’ve instilled as part of the group’s outlook.
“I believe that God will take us where he wants us to go,” McCormick said. “I don’t believe that we really control that, if we just believe in him. Thus far, it’s grown from the back of a little truck to 3,000 people a month.”
The group has also received a lot of support from the community.
In May of 2018 a refrigerator was stolen from the non-profit. Minutes after 12 On Your Side aired the story about the stolen freezer, Henrico Union Lodge in Sandston contacted NBC12 to say they would purchase a freezer for the group.
Purcell hopes anyone in the community with insight into available building space will give them a call directly. The group is also open to working with churches since it’s a faith-based organization.
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