It’s rough out there for nonprofits these days, and Gospel Rescue Ministries—-a faith-based homeless shelter and treatment center that’s operated downtown since 1906—-is having as hard a time as any. Although its main source of income is contracts with the District government, its donor base has shrunk. It was forced to cut staff, if not services, in order to bring expenses in line with revenue.
In late April, OBA Bank started to foreclose on the Mission-style building on 5th Street NW that it’s occupied since the 1930s, as well as two residential treatment facilities the non-profit owns, one at 512 I St. NW and another at 1733 T St. SE.
The buildings are scheduled to be sold at auction tomorrow morning. But David VanDuzer, a Virginia-based architect who chairs the charity’s board, says the sale won’t happen: They’re filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy instead, while they secure new financing with an out-of-town lender.
“We’ve had a terrible time,” VanDuzer says. “Private grants were a big source of our income, and they’re just not there right now.”
Tax returns from the most recent year available show that the organization took in $3.4 million in 2009, which had been an increase from previous years, but giving has tapered off, VanDuzer says—-though he’s confident that the non-profit will be able to regroup and continue operating long into the future.