Cirrus House one step closer to ownership goal

Thanks to the generosity of the Oregon Trail Community Foundation, Cirrus House in Scottsbluff is one step closer to owning their main clubhouse building on 1st Avenue in Scottsbluff, which they have leased for years on 1st Avenue in Scottsbluff. The OTCF approved an $11,900 donation in October, and Cirrus House received the check for that donation Tuesday.

Cirrus House Executive Director Brent Anderson says between year end donations and this check from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation, they have already collected just shy of $40,000. Anderson says Howard Olsen wrote a letter to the editor in the Star Herald asking people to consider Cirrus House in their end of year giving and the response was amazing. He says there was an outpouring from the community, receiving checks anywhere from $25 to $50 up to $1,000. He says they even received a check for $5,000 and a couple of $500 checks. Anderson says this community is so generous, and he wants to thank each and every one who has contributed.

Cirrus House has occupied the 1509 First Avenue building in Scottsbluff since its beginnings in the early 1980's. The original Clubhouse program was an offshoot of the Panhandle Mental Health Center (PMHC). The Clubhouse model of care was a new and innovative way of working with people that had not been done in the community before and has since proven to be a great success. Cirrus House grew into a stand-alone organization by the early 90's and they continued to rent the building from PMHC.

The two agencies have had discussions about Cirrus House taking ownership of the building over the years but only within the past couple of years did the agree upon terms. PMHC gave Cirrus House a deadline of January 1, 2014 to purchase the $125,000 building and Cirrus House has been busy raising community support for this goal. They received a $30,000 Region I grant early on in the process and the addition of this Oregon Trail Community Foundation grant takes them even closer to their goal.

First State Bank provided financing for a loan that closed on Dec 31st in order to meet that January 1st deadline. But Anderson says their goal is to have the building 100% paid for within the next 12 to 18 months.

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