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Camp Fire Central Coast, AmpSurf forced to leave offices in Pismo Beach

Posted at 10:27 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 01:27:12-04

Non-profit groups are being forced out of their offices in Pismo Beach.

Camp Fire Central Coast serves 1,700 kids in the area annually, while AmpSurf provides opportunities to surf for the disabled and veterans.

Both have offices at the Orpha Henry Young Beach house located at 340 Pomeroy Avenue essentially rent free other than utilities and upkeep on the building. But in 60 days, that soon could change.

Despite the news, Camp Fire Central Coast Executive Director Ken Miles is optimistic. On Sept. 24, Miles received a letter stating the owners of the home want to sell the house and the the premises must be vacated by Nov. 24.

“It was quite heartbreaking,” Miles said. “We’re emotionally engaged with the families and children we serve. Any non-profit work is pretty intense and the holidays are coming and end of the year appeals are in the works. All the things that make a non-profit operate and then you’re supposed to move in the middle of of all this? It will be a challenge for us.”

The group has operated in the home for the last 15 years and AmpSurf a decade thanks to an agreement in place created by a trust set up in the name of Orpha Henry.

AmpSurf, run by Dana Cummings, is located just down the street from the beach, where its provides space for the disabled and veterans to learn to overcome challenges with surf clinics.

Operating essentially rent free has given both groups an opportunity to invest that money into programs.

“Our overhead is so low, we’re able to serve more kids,” said Miles. “That formula is going to be changing shortly. So we’re looking and appealing to the community to help us seek out that location so we can continue to serve as many kids as we’ve been serving.”

The letter provides no insight to the decision to end the relationship. Both Camp Fire Central Coast and AmpSurf are looking into why the change occurred. For now, both will need to vacate by Nov. 24.

“My marching orders at the moment is I need to find a new home in 60 days,” Miles said.

In a statement to KSBY on Wednesday night, AmpSurf responded to the situation.

“It is very sad that two organizations dedicated to serving the community and the children of the area are being forced out. It is AmpSurf’s hope that a resolution could be reached that allows us to stay and also continues to honor the wishes and the will of Ms. Orpha Henry. AmpSurf and Campfire both serve the youth of the area through directly and in partnership with organizations such as Scouts and others.”

KSBY has reached out to the attorney representing the owner’s of the property to ask why the change, but have not heard back. Camp Fire Central Coast plans to stay located within the Five Cities.