The Aurora nonprofit Project Worthmore is purchasing a property to host its new facility “The Roots,” providing essential services to immigrants and refugees.
Once opened, the facility will offer dental services, English classes, food access programs and affordable office and retail space for other mission-aligned businesses.
“Our vision for The Roots is a place that will anchor our community to this East Colfax neighborhood and serve as a resource for the entire neighborhood,” said Frank Anello, founder of Project Worthmore.
Project Worthmore began as a makeshift response to help local refugees in 2009, growing to provide services including English and citizenship classes, a five-chair dental clinic and a community farm and food share.
With its new brick-and-mortar location, the nonprofit intends to expand all of its current operations.
The new facility is expected to host a 10-chair dental clinic, two classrooms for English-language acquisition, a communal kitchen and space for food shares, events and office/retail for local entrepreneurs.
“The clients we serve have dealt with so much uncertainty, but now they will be able to count on Project Worthmore being here for them as long as they need us,” Anello said.
The 17,000-square-foot property is located at 1666 Elmira St., in between the City Park and Crawford Elementary School.
Project Worthmore is purchasing the property for $1,275,000, having raised $440,000 for the down payment. Anello hopes to raise the remaining funds before the closing date in early April.
The organization also anticipates it will need $3 million for renovations and equipment.
Anello said he expects the number of people in need of Project Worthmore's services will soon increase as a result of rising rental costs and displacement of residents in nearby neighborhoods.
Donations for Project Worthmore are accepted at projectworthmore.org.