In light of recent vandalism, Broken Arrow Neighbors staff anticipates new 10,000 sq. ft. facility
3:16 PM, Sep 13, 2013
Within the last year, Broken Arrow Neighbors has had five break-ins or acts of vandalism.
The last of the incidents occurred last week.
When BA Neighbors staff arrived Sept. 4, they found donations scattered across the property. The food items had been left in the back of the organization's van. One of the vehicle's windows had also been broken.
The next day, executive director Kim Goddard found evidence of a second act of vandalism – a shattered windshield and two additional broken windows. A window in the warehouse had also been broken.
Goddard believes the vandalism may have been an act of aggression.
"When it happened the first time, I thought it was just kids, but when it happened the next time, I saw it as perhaps an aggressive measure, as if we had made someone upset.
"We try to provide the best service that we can to those who seek assistance, and if someone is frustrated as a result of something we did or did not do, I would hope they would come and talk to us."
Goddard says the board is set to decide on whether to add security cameras to the property. The main building and warehouse currently have motion detectors and security systems set up.
"As a non-profit, our budget is tight. This will start playing into my budget, and if this continues it will affect the people that we give back to."
Goddard anticipates in the next year, this will no longer be an issue.
In 20014, Broken Arrow Neighbors is set to move into a new 10,000 square-foot facility on the property directly behind the current building, which the non-profit also owns.
A groundbreaking will be held in October or November, and Goddard says the new building should be opened in next nine to 12 months following.
A capital campaign plan has been "quietly" fundraising about $500,000 over the past years. The cost of the building is an estimated $857,000, with another $100,000 for technology and equipment.
"Right now, we are in a forced-fit building. This was formerly a funeral home."
The new building will feature on-site counseling, allow for self-shopping, as well as offer better flow of traffic for vehicles and pedestrians. Goddard said.
But above all, it is expected to provide greater security measures for its property, staff and the more than 5,000 people Broken Arrow Neighbors serves.
In the meantime, Goddard has pleaded to whoever is vandalizing the property to "please stop."
"Our main concern is the Broken Arrow residents that we serve, and whoever is doing this is taking resources and time from them. We really do hope that this will end."