Letter to the Editor

Local citizenry needs to 'step up' to aid shelter

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To The Editor:

We read with sadness the news of the A-Way Home Shelter's potential closing. Surely Greencastle residents, with some help from county residents, can raise the money to keep it open.

As federal and state government cuts the spending which reduces many social services, the challenge is for individuals, corporations, small businesses, churches, etc. to fill in the gap.

The need for social services isn't going away; in fact, as services we have traditionally paid for with our taxes are cut and our taxes don't go up, the theory is we should have more money ourselves to share to help neighbors in distress.

A-Way Home is not a government agency, but it has up to now benefited from Housing Authority federal monies.

United Way is not a government entity either, but again, the theory that where government has a shortfall, citizens and private money will make up the difference isn't working there either. Hence, the decline in United Way's support of the shelter.

So, it appears that if there is any possibility of keeping this valuable social service resource in Greencastle, we, the citizenry, have to "step up to the plate," i.e., be prepared to dig into our pockets on a sustained basis to fund the A-Way Home Shelter.

One way would be for individuals to make contributions and for organizations to provide funds to put into the Greencastle Housing Authority Emergency Shelter Endowment (A-Way Home Shelter), which is managed by the Putnam County Community Foundation. This wouldn't solve the immediate crisis but would be a long-term solution.

A substantial short-term solution is a greater problem: $30,000 ASAP. The $127,000-a-year operating budget sounds pretty bare bones to us.

Don and Kay Weaver