Houston Burners Warehouse Closure & UBS Future Updates

BIG CHANGES AFOOT!: For those of you who regularly attend Wednesday Night Houston Burners Church night, these updates will come as no surprise. For the broader community, and for those who want to know more specifics: here are the details. 
  • The Johanna warehouse is no longer viable as a fully funded Houston Burners community project and operations will come to an end this fall. 
  • There is currently no plan for a UBS 2024.
    • The community lacks volunteer commitment to organizer-level roles as well as safety department leads.
    • There are currently no prospective event properties on the radar.
It has been a good run at the Johanna location! Thanks to everyone who give time, energy, creativity and also monetary or materials donations to help make it a great space for friendship, collaboration and ART! The last few years operations were largely financed by the condemnation of the old warehouse by the city which included 2 years worth of subsidized rent from HUD, plus a couple significant donors in 2022 (thank you!).
However, HB’s fundraising in recent years has devolved and that coupled with the continued decline of individual donations, and pandemic cancellations, means there is not enough left in the bank after the break-even budget for UBS 2023 (largely due to quadrupled land costs). There is no way to support another 12 month lease for the property and any possible UBS event in 2024. Increases in volunteerism from board level all the way through event roles and fundraising certainly would leave open the possibility of a UBS type event in 2025.
All of this, added to the City of Houston’s extensive processes and fines for acquiring an occupancy permit, the landlord’s inability to assist in changes required, and the ever-increasing rent currently set at $1,400 per month, have contributed to making a lease renewal a non-starter.
The current plan is to move community materials to a community donated (thank you!) 40 foot shipping container. It now also has a new home for use by HB, and will be moved to a donated space (thank you SafeBear!) in Cypress this fall! This new location will also be helpful for community members needing to borrow community own equipment with an on-site quartermaster. Stay tuned for those load-out & transport events to be announced here, on Facebook and on the Houston Announce list.
IF you would like to help create an alternative plan, and if you know of another publicly-accessible spot to park it…speak up! Maybe theme camps would like to help with either maintaining the Johanna space–can you help create a coalition that can support maintaining it through the next year? –OR do you have a new idea to maintain an accessible storage spot? If you are a Theme Camp Lead or other brave thinker, send ideas or inquiries to board@houstonburners.org  please! Move-out notice will have to be given shortly so get your ideas in soon!
Cleaning out the space will begin in August SO: If you have any personal belongings stored at warehouse, please retrieve them no later than Wednesday August 16th Church Night. If you can’t–PICK-A-PAL TO GET YOUR GEAR FOR YOU before that date when it becomes community property or community dumpster fill! 
Keep up with all of Houston’s burning friends socially with some local opportunities–thanks to everyone supporting new meeting opportunities and community collaborations!
  • Some Warehouse and some Roaming Wednesday Church Nights will be announced coming up! Volunteer co-hosts and venues are welcome–SPEAK UP!–especially with at least 2 weeks to get the word out…
  • NON-WEDNESDAY church nites to be announced for August at The Interchange. Houston Burners are co-hosting these with Maggie & Andy. Currently scheduled is Thursday August 17th 6pm
  • Join Houpla for Thermal Thursdays at their new warehouse: 6006 W 34th St 77092 (see event announcements on their discussion group)
Wanna help? A couple of leads are needed to help plan and execute these projects:
  1. Host an event for community warehouse clean-out or trash leftover items (scheduled anytime after 16 August church nite)
  2. Load-out community property to the storage container
Thank you all for your ❤️‍🔥 and support for everyone throughout these changes! 
– Houston Burners 501c3 nonprofit board