I am writing our annual Christmas newsletter in November because the Bob Brown House has so much to be thankful for this year. We have a home full of residents that are grateful to have a safe, affordable place to live. We have reliable, competent staff that love and care for our family every day. We have renewed and refreshed our 45 year old building and property with a grant from Lexington’s Affordable Housing Fund. We’ve had lots of volunteers helping in various ways this year. Some brought food and supplies. Some gave monetary donations. Some came to clean and do yard work. A very large group came from Keller-Williams and spruced up our court yard with new paint and landscaping. They also brought all new chairs for our dining room. We are thankful for all of those that support us in every way, large or small.
Many of you know I have been pursuing a path to expansion of the Bob Brown House for the last two years. I am more than just happy to announce that my dream team and I turned in a $3.5 million tax credit grant application on October 5. If we are awarded this money we will be adding 24 more apartments at our present location with all new common space in the front including a new kitchen, new living and dining areas and new offices. The rendering is at the top of this letter. It is truly a beautiful site. This was a long and complicated application that took a team of 8 several months to complete. The Bob Brown House and I are blessed to have these dedicated professionals support our mission and vision for the future. The announcement will come in March or April.
Well, that was the good news but you know what comes next. All of the bad news centers on our kitchen. We were pushing our luck in hoping that we could make it until we had news in the spring from our grant application. But our luck has been running out since late summer. First to go was the large, commercial refrigerator. Next, the dishwasher and the dinosaur of an ice machine we have been using for years. And then to top it all off, after 43 years in business the health department has decided we need a permit to operate our kitchen. After much discussion with several layers of management about us being in a gray area they shut us down anyway. We have been cooking out of the staff apartment and serving lots of ready to eat meals. Although there are no issues with our food storage or food handling there are some repairs that need to be made to our “old” kitchen. All of these problems have added up to an expensive hit to our small budget at the Bob Brown House. As always, we would appreciate your monetary help in finishing this project and moving forward with the good work that we do every day.
In spite of our struggles we are thankful for the people and the place that we call the Bob Brown House. It is a joy to know we make a difference in the lives of some very special people. It is with great hope that we expect to be able to help even more people in the very near future. We wish joy and hope for all of you during this holiday season and in the new year to come.