March 24, 2010; San Francisco Examiner | As another example of the squeeze on nonprofits, and the inventive solutions being explored to help them continue to provide services in a down economy—as well as the risks some solutions pose—the San Francisco Examiner reports that the city is considering legislation to help the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center ward off a pending foreclosure.
If approved by the full Board of Supervisors, the city would set up a mortgage payment reserve fund and put $157,500 into it. According to the Examiner, “the fund is needed to convince First Republic Bank to restructure the center’s loan so the nonprofit could afford the monthly payments.”
While both a civic- and charitable-minded gesture, even backers of the legislation have concerns. On one hand, chair of the committee that approved the deal, Supervisor John Avolos, said he worries it might lead other stressed nonprofits to seek this kind of aid. But he also adds, “We need to continue with the investment, it would be a great loss to the city if there was a foreclosure and we wouldn’t have the LGBT Center.” Another supervisor, Sean Elsbend, opposes the plan, saying the city shoudn’t be on the “hook.”
For its part, the LGBT is looking for more ways its center can help the organization generate more revenue, such as leasing out space to a restaurant. Tough times require tough choices, and in some cases that means opening new doors to keep the doors open.—Bruce Trachtenberg