02/21/2014 09:37 EST | Updated 04/23/2014 05:59 EDT

NDG church sale could force non-profit groups out

About a dozen community organizations in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce are at risk of losing their rental space if the Rosedale Queen Mary United Church sells to the highest bidder.

The problem is, the church and the building next door that houses the community groups is up for sale — and the $1.1 million bid the NDG Community Space Coalition made on behalf of the groups is lower than other offers made.

Some offers made are above $1.5 million.

“Basically it was not even considered, that was a bit disappointing. There were many conditions. It was a first try, a first step,” said Hans Heisinger of the coalition.

Groups like Women On the Rise inhabit the building next door to the church, which the church owns as well.

The group prepares hot meals for mostly recently immigrated single mothers twice a week.

“We also show them how to cook this hot nutritious meal on a limited budget. And we also show them how to cook in bulk,” said Grace Campbell of the organization.

She said facilities that non-profit groups can afford are scarce.

Heisinger, who also works with the Carrefour jeunesse emploi, said the space has the potential to benefit many more individuals and groups that what it currently serves.

He said they could even offer shared office space to NDG-area business startups.

“Young entrepreneurs don’t have space. they have nowhere to go in NDG,” he said.

Heisinger said they’ve raised some additional funds after legally becoming a cooperative and will re-bid on the property.

He is worried about what will happen to the groups if they’re not successful in securing the church property, though.

“ I don't know where they would go, where all those services could find additional affordable space.” he said. “It would put a lot of them maybe in danger of existence.”