REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - They've spent more than 20 years helping and feeding the Redwood City community, now Verbo Church and Family Services needs some help of its own. The organization is being evicted from its building, and is desperately trying to find a new one close by.
For Verbo Family Services, this Redwood City building has been the center of everything.
It's where they hold church services, conduct counseling, and distribute food to those in need.
But now, they're being forced to move.
"Right now we don't have a place to go with the family service program. That's why we're looking for help," says Orlando Cardona, pastor at Verbo Church and Family Services.
The pandemic increased the need in the community they serve but also made it hard for the organization to pay rent.
Verbo made a verbal deal with their landlord to pay half.
But now they've been sent a letter demanding back-rent be paid in full or their contract will be voided.
"He said either we pay the $150,000 or we move out in three days," said Cardona.
The landlord did not respond to our request for comment.
Verbo has since negotiated a few extra weeks, which will allow them to feed families through the holidays. But they need to start packing up.
"Some are going to pack and move things, but we want to serve the families the most we can do at the last day," says Patty Cardona of Verbo Family Services.
Verbo primarily serves the North Fair Oaks neighborhood of Redwood City, an area with a lot of need.
Those who get services here aren't sure who would fill the void if they were gone.
Marlit Garcia explained through a translator, "It would sadden me because I think programs like these should never end."
But volunteers here aren't giving up hope.
They're hunting for a new warehouse hopefully 12,000 square feet, and ideally nearby. They are hoping to pay about $10,000 a month.
"We've been looking and trying and I feel like a miracle has to happen," says volunteer Virginia Huffman. "We have to have a Christmas miracle. We need something big to happen."
The hope now is that someone with an available warehouse will come forward soon, since Verbo needs to be packed up and out of this facility by the end of January.
Anyone who'd like to help can visit Verbo's website at verbocalifornia.org/family-services.
Or you can reach out to volunteer Virginia Huffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.