I would like to buy or rent a building to convert to a Hindu temple in my community for the Bhutanese/Nepalese refugees. Problem: I have NO IDEA where to start.
I live in a city of about 50,000 people. We have a refugee resettlement program and in the past 1.5 years a lot of Bhutanese refugees
have settled here (maybe 200). I started volunteering with one family about a year ago and have subsequently gotten very involved in their community. They are the fastest growing refugee population in our city.
I live in a very liberal city and I think that most of the Nepalis are very happy here. It's far, far from perfect, but there are community programs that help them obtain cars, English classes, soccer leagues, etc. However, the closest Hindu temple is over 100 miles away. Right now they use a Unitarian church for their holidays. This is a large building and it's not quite full to capacity, but they definitely use the space.
A few people have mentioned that they would love a Hindu temple, but never in a serious way and I don't want to get their hopes up by promising them the sky. But I think it would be really great if they had their own community center/temple! Right now they crowd into each others apartments or use the unitarian church.
Problem is, I don't even know where to start. I am 23 and have never done anything like this before. I asked my dad and he said that I can't apply for grants because it's a religious organization (??). But I don't even know where to start looking for grants! And, how do we even obtain the building? I know it needs to be in an area that's zoned for churches. Is it ridiculous to expect that someone might donate a building? If so, I guess we would rent or buy.. is that where the grants come in? (Obviously I am going to bring this up with the Refugee Resettlement Program, but I wanted to have a little bit of a plan before I did so).
I realize this is 20 questions inside of one question, and I'm not asking for answers to all of them. That was just to demonstrate that I really don't know where to begin and I would love some insight on what needs to happen in order to make this happen.