"We've been in desperate need of more space for a little while now," said Carrie Carstens, public relations manager at CHAC, non-profit focused on helping local students and community members by providing no- and low-cost mental health services in schools and at their office in downtown Mountain View. "And this whole situation just kind of happened."
"This whole situation," as Carstens called it, is being referred to as the "Miracle on El Camino."
CHAC will soon leave its current building at 711 Church Street, and move just a few short blocks to 590 W. El Camino Real, the former offices of the mobile technology company Loopt, which CHAC swapped for its old quarters.
According to Carstens, the company that owns the former Loopt offices agreed to swap deeds with CHAC, which owns its current headquarters outright. The deal effectively gives the non-profit a larger, more valuable building for free. CHAC's current offices were recently appraised at $1 million, while their new digs are worth an estimated $3 million, and at 7,330 square feet, the new offices are roughly double the size of the old CHAC building.
Yet, while CHAC has done well in the trade, there is still quite a bit of work to be done, and the organization needs to raise money to do it.
The organization's officials hope to open up in July, but before they do they have to raise about $188,000. They've gathered some of that money from private donors and various grants, Carstens said, but they still have a ways to go.
The biggest renovation required in the new building is making the individual offices and rooms private. When Loopt occupied the building, many of the walls were made of glass. These need to be removed or turned opaque to provide CHAC patients the privacy they need.
CHAC is asking that anyone with the desire and ability to donate to consider giving. "We help kids and families at a local level," Carstens said. "We believe that if there are healthy kids, healthy families and healthy schools, it trickles down to the wider community."
To give, visit the fund-raising website GoGetFunding at www.GoGetFunding.com and search for "CHAC" in the upper right-hand corner.