Chris Middleton gets asked a lot of questions at the front desk of Bud's Warehouse. But, there is one question he does not know the answer to.
"The big question right now is if we can do it," Middleton said.
He manages Bud's Warehouse, a nonprofit home improvement store providing cheap and recycled alternatives to people looking for building supplies which are donated to the organization.
"Our true mission is to help people rebuild their life from drug, alcohol, and addiction and homelessness," Middleton said.
He struggled with alcoholism for 18 years until the Bud's Warehouse job training program taught him the skills to turn his life around.
"I owe this place everything," Middleton said.
But, this place has to move. Bud's Warehouse sits right next to I-70. Jim Reiner is the executive director of Belay Enterprises which operates Bud's Warehouse. Reiner says the I-70 expansion project will cause major problems for Bud's Warehouse, plus rent is on the rise. With the lease up in August, Reiner says Bud's Warehouse has to move.
"It's actually been a real challenging real estate market to be looking for a new space," Reiner said.
But, he found one in Aurora near I-225 and Mississippi Avenue. The building costs around $3 million. Reiner says his organization has to come up with $200,000 cash to complete the purchase.
"And we have raised $120,000 of that. So, we're down to the last $80,000," Reiner said.
The problem is the deadline to raise that money is May 26.
"It's an extreme amount of money to raise," Middleton said. "I'm concerned. I'm a little more than concerned."
Reiner says Bud's Warehouse is in a serious crunch for the first time in its 22 years.
"There's few affordable options for our organization if we fail on the $80,000," Reiner said. "If we can't figure it out, it may the end of our project."
If you want to help out, Bud's Warehouse has started a crowdfunding page: https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/new-building-for-bud-s-warehouse-belay-enterprises.
"I have faith in my community that they are going to step up and help solve this problem with us," Middleton said.