SASG says goodbye to the Dunshee House, seeks new Capitol Hill home

Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center, a collection of groups that has evolved with community needs over the past three decades on Capitol Hill, is losing its longtime home at 17th and Thomas and has begun a capital campaign to secure a new one.

“We have been leasing this space for the last 26 years and it pains us to bid farewell after cultivating so much rich history between these walls,” the group’s announcement, below, reads. “However, with the rapid growth and new development in this area, a move was inevitable.”

SASG says it hopes to find a new home on the Hill — with a little help:

A very generous donor has pledged $300,000 towards the purchase of a new space for SASG and is issuing a challenge to the community to match this gift. Any donations, large or small, will be matched by this gift dollar for dollar up to $300,000.

You can learn more or donate at sasgcc.org.

The group will remain in the house through the end of the year — possibly into early 2016, according to the announcement. You might know the old house best for the organization’s annual Christmas tree lot. Organizers say they will be able to hold the sale in the same location this year in the Group Health parking lot behind the house.

SASG was founded in 1984 as the Seattle AIDS Support Group. Over the years, it branched out its connections to include groups building communities around specific HIV issues and other recovery assistance like addiction. It held its first tree sale fundraiser in 1990. You can read about more of the SASG history hereMike Kann currently serves as the nonprofit’s board president. The group had recently been known as the Dunshee House but recently moved away from that identity prior to this week’s announcement.

What is next for the 1906-built house at 17th and Thomas isn’t yet clear. County records show the property remains in the hands of its longtime owner and there are no permits on file to demolish the structure as other older, well-worn houses in the area have been to make way for townhouse and small apartment projects.

The full announcement from SASG is below:

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Seattle Area Support Groups & Community Center (SASG) will be losing its lease at 303 17th Ave E and is currently reviewing multiple options for purchase of a new location. Whether you have been a part of our organization since our founding as Seattle AIDS Support Group in 1984; found and shared strength through our peer emotional support programs; stopped by for free anonymous HIV testing; or have purchased your Christmas/Holiday tree, wreath, and greenery from us during our annual tree lot fundraiser; it is likely that you have become acquainted with our organization and the house on Capitol Hill at the corner of 17th Ave E and E Thomas St. We have been leasing this space for the last 26 years and it pains us to bid farewell after cultivating so much rich history between these walls. However, with the rapid growth and new development in this area, a move was inevitable.

We recognize that change can be unsettling, but we see this as the perfect opportunity to plant permanent roots on or near Capitol Hill. To that end, we will be purchasing a new space where we can continue to grow our services beyond what they are today. We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the owner of the house we are in for the many years of support, an excellent location, and for always providing below market rental rates.

UPDATE 7/17/2015: Good news in this update from SASG. The capital campaign is going well and the process to purchase a new home for the organization has begun:

As of today, we have raised $351,860 towards our Capital Campaign to purchase a permanent location for SASG on Capitol Hill. We are so grateful to everyone for your contributions and support!

We still have a ways to go so help us to keep the momentum going. You can donate on our web page by clicking the donate button in the top right corner, or by mailing donations to Joshua Wallace, SASG, 303 17th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112. If you have questions, email Joshua Wallace at josh@sasgcc.org, or call him at 206-854-0248.

Every little bit counts and every donation is matched until we hit a total of $600,000. Please help us by sharing this information with your constituents via print/web/video/social media etc. as appropriate.

We are still hoping to develop a few more corporate sponsors.  Donors at all levels will be recognized in our new location and corporate donors at $5,000 and above will include their logo along with their name in our permanent display along with recognition on our web site and social media pages.  It is a great cause and a small amount to pay for sponsorship recognition in perpetuity.

I would also love to hear from my colleagues in the LGBTQ nonprofit leadership community about any ideas or resources you would recommend to bolster our capital campaign.

 

Purchase Update:  We have entered into a purchase and sale agreement for a location on Capitol Hill and are currently completing our due diligence work.

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2 thoughts on “SASG says goodbye to the Dunshee House, seeks new Capitol Hill home

  1. SASG saved my life. I used to be a hopeless homeless drug addict and I got introduced to SASG. There I found a great group of folks who welcomed me with open arms. They showed me how to start loving and taking care of myself and provided a safe place for me to hang. Today I am no longer homeless and on a good path surrounded by good friends that I have met through the house. Losing the house is going to be sad but the future looks great.

  2. SASG is such a wonderful place. I know many people, including myself, who love the AA meetings there. It’s the primary spot for daily AA meetings on Capitol Hill that I know of, and always LGBTQA oriented. I hope they can move somewhere close!