Allen charity struggles after costly repairs




Posted on December 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 6:28 PM

ALLEN — An Allen charity has had some very bad luck; all at a time when the demand for its help is high.

Leaders at Allen Community Outreach say costly repairs could impact the number of families they serve.

The people who run the agency knew something was wrong when they opened the mail. "Our water bill tripled in one month," said Glenda May, ACO Executive Director.

City workers discovered a water leak under the driveway. Repair crews dug a trench, closing the parking lot for days. The cost to fix the leak: $7,500.

But ACO's bad luck didn't end there.

Two industrial air conditioning/heating units stopped working. That created problems in the food pantry, which serves 600 people every month.

"Without temperature control, we had to be real careful about spoilage," said Stacy Cooper, ACO’s Development Director.

The organization replaced the two bad A/C units immediately. That cost them another $10,000.

"It's approximately $18,000 for the total for both the water leak and two units on top of the building," May said.

With $18,000 spent on repairs, there is less money available for services, including providing the needy with food, clothing, rent and utility bills.

"Basically, we will have to turn away 43 families next year if we don't recoup this $18,000."

The 27-year-old agency vows to continue providing families with the care and help they need. But they say the unexpected repairs created a burden they hope to remedy with the help of the community.