CRIS: The day I bought this building was one of the best days! For the 15 years prior to that, CQ had rented offices and I never felt like we really owned the space, instead we were just there temporarily “borrowing” the space. What I really wanted was a place that was Deaf-centered and that would continue to provide the range of services that CQ was known for into perpetuity, even after my retirement.
It was 2007 when we finally found this location. We had begun looking six months before and not found anything to our liking. Our vision as staff was a building with a room large enough for meetings that also had private offices for staff and was near the bus transportation so that it was easy for people to get to us. Another important element was having a public space where the Deaf community could access a VP in case they didn’t have one available or theirs was not functioning.
When moving day came, we packed up all of our offices from our rented location on Fourth Street (some of you may remember that place) and made the move! Buying this building and moving CQ here was the best decision ever! And now with DCARA purchasing this building it ensures that the vision of a Deaf-centered space is truly happening.
Now this building has an interesting history. You might notice it looks like a house. But actually it used to be a doctor’s office and then belonged to a chiropractor. How I found out about it originally being a doctor’s office is that a Deaf person came up to me shortly after we moved here and said their doctor worked here in the 1950s and that they came here for appointments back then.
One of the reasons I love this building that it has the warm cozy feeling of a house. Before we moved in we had it painted and also removed some walls so that it was more visually accessible. Again, buying this building was one of the best decisions ever! With DCARA taking ownership it means that the Santa Rosa Deaf community can have its own Deaf-centric space.
When I sold CQ to DCARA, many of my business colleagues advised me to keep the building and rent it out so that I had some regular income. But that didn’t really mesh with my vision of have space that was Deaf-owned and welcoming to our local Deaf community, a place of their own right here in Santa Rosa.
So I disregarded my colleagues advice and sold the building to DCARA. Now that DCARA owns the building, it truly belongs to the Santa Rosa Deaf community.
Well, I am ready to hand over the keys! Come on over! Hello, how are you?
RAYMOND: Great, thank you! And you?
CRIS: I’m super excited and looking forward to what happens next!
RAY: Me too, definitely! I’m Raymond Rodgers, executive director of DCARA. I am thrilled that DCARA is able to take ownership of this property in Santa Rosa, here in beautiful Sonoma County. I want to thank you for thinking of DCARA to carry on and champion Deaf services, language, culture and Deaf space right here in Santa Rosa. I appreciate you ensuring the continuation of these values.
CRIS: Are you ready for me to hand over the keys?
RAY: Yes I am!
RAY: Thank you and goodbye.
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