Feb 5, 2013
From a recent email to the volunteers:
...Now, y'all may recall that our tenure at our current address, the warehouse at Permalume, is coming to an end. We've had a great ten years there, subletting our space from the wonderful Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. Sadly, the Furniture Bank is moving and simply cannot take us along into their new space. We've been aware of this since 2011 and had started the search this fall for a new space for the Housers to move into, ahead of the expiry of the Furniture Bank's lease in August 2013.
But in November, we were informed that the Furniture Bank's Board of Directors had decided to try to break lease six months ahead of schedule. To do that, we'd also have to be out six months earlier than planned. Suddenly, our August deadline was February, which, as you may imagine, increased the pressure on us considerably. Add in the normal winter surge of demand and the interruptions that the winter holidays bring, and you may understand why you haven't really heard much from me recently.Over the past few months, I've been searching for a place for us to purchase. Basically, housing costs are so low thanks to the '09 market crash that it's far cheaper for us to buy a place and fix it up than to rent. The trick was finding a place that would work for us physically and financially. And lo and behold, we seem to be in luck: last Thursday I signed on a house in southwest Atlanta with a detached double garage apartment. The plan is to rent out the front house and turn the apartment into the new home for the Housers. We're moving out of our folks' place at last!
Now our challenge is the moving and the fixing up. And make no mistake, it's a challenge - a big one. We have a little over four weeks to make the garage unit habitable, and there's lots of work to be done. On the warehouse side, we've stopped ordering new materials and are instead trying to deploy as much lumber as possible as new shelters. So we've got a triple load of work to do over the next few weeks: fix up the new place, pack up the old place, and in the meantime continue to shelter our clients. Simple, right?Here's how I see it happening: over the next two to three weeks, we'll be deploying shelters and packing up the warehouse as professionals work on making the new space habitable, getting the power turned back on and the permits done. Once the pros have the lights back on, we'll go in and turn the rebuilt space into our new home, setting up our shop and moving our stuff into place. Now frankly, I don't expect us to be ready to resume production of shelters by March. But I do think that we should be safely out of our old space by then and sitting around with a lot of construction going on around us. By April, however, we should be back online.