Tonawanda News — “It’s not cost-effective, but when you don’t have the money, you get the umbrella out,” he said. “Once it’s done, we’re probably good for some time. It’s so important to get it done right. We’re just wasting money at this point, although it’s out of necessity.”
Wasting money is not something the organization wants — or can afford — to do.
TCCO, which is run by an all-volunteer board, was started in 1988, and became incorporated and tax-exempt in 1991, Lureman said. Its entire purpose is to provide a home for its three community outreach programs under one roof, smoothing the road for them by paying all utility bills and maintaining the building. It also maintains one small office in the large building.
“The reason we came to exist ... all these organizations operated out of churches, primarily, wherever they could,” he said. “It was pretty expensive to cope with all those utility bills. The idea for TCCO was born out of that.”
The building on Ridge Road, a former hockey rink, was donated to the group for $1 by Benderson Development. The facility, which is also occupied by the NT school district transportation department, has been fixed up a lot over the years. But the bills, even without the roof issues, add up — Lureman said that the electric bills can be $1,500 a month, and gas bills reach $1,000 in the winter.
The organizations in the building include the Inter-Church Clothes Closet, with its racks of clothing and shelves of shoes, housewares and children’s items for those in need; North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels, where cooks and volunteers prepare about 130 meals a day; and the Inter-Church Food Pantry, with its waiting room and behind-the-scenes area lined neatly with canned goods, paper products and other items, stockroom and more.