West Montgomery ministry hopes online petition will save its fac - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

West Montgomery ministry hopes online petition will save its facility

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A West Montgomery ministry is afraid it could lose its facility, and now it's hoping an online petition will help raise support. The Connecting Life Center operates out of Bellingrath and Harrison Community Centers. Leaders fear their lease on those buildings will not be renewed.

In an area known for its high crime rate, Connecting Life Center is making a difference.

"We actually mentor these kids, we actually talk to their parents, we go to their schools, we check on their progress reports, their report cards, and the parents have allowed us to really get involved with their kids, and we've seen change in some of these kids," Executive Director Bishop Roosevelt Crawford said. "We're trying to convince the Montgomery public school system to renew our lease"

The lease with MPS expires June 8, the board won't meet again to consider its renewal until June 10, and Crawford's concerned it will be denied.

"I've been feeling the pressure that someone is trying to hinder us. I was told by an official at Montgomery public school system that they were being pressured by 'the powers that be' ever since we started," Crawford said.

MPS confirms the lease renewal is on the agenda for the board to consider at its next meeting, however, a spokesman tells me over the phone "MPS has some concerns about the organization's non-compliance with the original lease."

Crawford takes exception.

"That's really almost a slap in our face for my organization, which is connecting the body of Christ to be non-compliant. We were in dialogue for the past year, and they never told me.  They should have told me," Crawford said.

In the meantime, an online petition has been created to show MPS there is support for Connecting Life Center.

MPS says me Connecting Life Center will not be forced out before the board considers the lease renewal. It will continue to operate here at least through June 10. As a matter of rule, all MPS real estate matters must be considered and approved by the board -- even renewals.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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