Barnabas Network moving to donated warehouse

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Barnabas Network, a Greensboro nonprofit that gives donated household items to help people establish stability in their homes and apartments, will move by the end of the year from rented space east of downtown to a nearby warehouse it received as a gift in June.

To pay for renovating the warehouse, which totals 12,000 square feet and was built in the 1950s, The Barnabas Network in June launched a campaign to raise $600,000. It already has raised $443,000 in cash and pledges.

That total includes two challenge grants — one totaling $175,000 that matches, dollar for dollar, funds already raised, and another totaling $45,000 that depended on reaching 60 percent of the goal.

Formed in 2005 to serve refugees moving to the area in the wake of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, The Barnabas Network last year served 981 households, or a total of 2,826 individuals.

It operates with an annual budget of $386,000, a staff of two people working full-time and seven working part-time, and 100 volunteers.

Tuesdays through Saturdays, staff members pick up household items, donated mainly by individuals, and on Tuesdays through Fridays deliver them to the households of roughly one-third of its client. Items range from furniture and appliances to housewares.

Deliveries are made to five to six households a day, and initially will increase to seven to eight households a day once The Barnabas Network moves to its new space from the 26,000 square feet it now leases at 2024 16th Street east of downtown.

Donating its new space, at 838 Winston Street, about a three-minute drive from its current location, were Mary Hart Orr and Katie Rose, daughters of the late John Ellison, owner of The Ellison Company, which used the building to make equipment for textile looms.

Honorary chairs of the fundraising campaign are Kathryn and Bobby Long, owner of investment adviser Granville Capital.

“We help people gain stability in their own home by having a bed that’s comfortable, a table to eat meals on, pots and pans to cook with,” says Erin Stratford Owens, executive director of The Barnabas Network.

“As an organization, if we have to move every five years, there’s an instability that affects us in how we do our business, just like it affects our clients,” she says. “To have a permanent building gives us stability but also the flexibility to grow.”

Because its new quarters will total less than half the space in its current quarters, she says, The Barnabas Network plans to serve more people each day “because we will need to move furniture out much quicker.”

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