Buffalo Business First covered Crisis Services’ Moving Announcement . (Note: you must be a Buffalo Business First member to view the article, text from article below.)
Crisis Services to double operations in move down Hertel
article by Tracy Drury
After years of growth, Crisis Services is moving to a new site that will enable the agency to double the size of its facility as well as the size of its call center.
For nearly 30 years, the nonprofit has operated from offices on Main Street at the tip of Hertel Avenue. The move will shift operations to the other end of Hertel in the River Rock Industrial Park in the city’s Black Rock neighborhood.
The organization is selling its 7,800-square-foot building in a $450,000 deal to Acquest Development, which owns the new space where Crisis Service will lease 14,000 square feet. The deal is slated to close later this summer.
Jessica Pirro, CEO, said the move was prompted by employment growth and expanded agency programming, including the launch last summer of an addiction hotline service through a $300,000 contract with the Erie County Department of Mental Health; and a mobile support program in 2015 to support individuals discharged from mental health programs.
“We also added staff through outstationed programs, who utilize the agency space but are co-located with many college campuses in the community to help with their domestic violence and sexual assault response,” she said. “We’ve had growth in our existing departments too, adding staff and also using volunteers and interns. We’re trying to grow those aspects, but it makes it difficult when there’s not a chair to put people in.”
Founded in 1968, Crisis Services has an operating budget of $5.6 million. The agency offers a range of human services, including counseling, advocacy and referrals related to mental health, suicide, trauma and domestic and sexual assault.
In addition to expanded offices and programming space, the new site offers two wellness/fitness rooms as well as ample parking. With 100 full- and part-time employees, staff must double and triple park in a 40-car lot.
Pirro said the move is a long time coming: When she was hired 18 yars ago, she served on a space needs committee. Employment has more than doubled since that time. Things are so tight that two closets were converted into an office for a staffer, creating a very oddly shaped space, she said. Leasing will help alleviate the stress, time and energy required to maintain a building of its own.
“We’ve been talking about moving for a while,” she said. “Finding a buyer for this facility and also finding the right and proper location is what took a few years.”
Construction is underway now at the new space, though the space is expected to be ready by September. Plans call for moving over in phases, with completion expected by October.
Tracey Drury covers health/medical and nonprofits