To the Editor:
At its meeting May 13, the Families In Crisis Board suspended operations for the Friends In Crisis Homeless Shelter temporarily, effective Saturday morning, May 18.
The key word is “temporary.” Whether it is for two weeks, a month, or longer will depend on the response from our community.
This in no way affects the operations of the domestic violence shelters in Killeen or Temple. Grants are written and approved for their operation, but most of the fund sources are specifically for domestic violence.
With usual donations from individuals, churches, and other organizations, there is no concern for their continued operations.
The Killeen domestic violence shelter has been open since 1981. The homeless shelter is in its fourth year of operation, and many grants require three or more years of existence before they can be considered. We are actively pursuing the grants for which we are eligible.
Our average number of clients per night for 2018 and for the first four months this year has been 75. About 15% of our shelter occupants are veterans, which is about 10-12 per night.
The financial requirement for the Friends In Crisis Homeless Shelter is $30,000 per month, or about $1,000 daily. The $1,000 a day includes staffing for 24 hours each day, including staff on duty and security personnel when the facility is occupied from 3 p.m. to 7 a.m each day, staff for cleaning and disinfecting the facility when clients are not in the building to prevent disease or illness, and cooking staff who cook for more than 80 every day.
It also includes the food and eating plates and utensils, individual hygiene items, air conditioning/heating, water and other utilities, and internal and external maintenance and upkeep of the facility.
With 75 clients per night, the $1,000 works out to $13.33 per person each day. We have worked hard to make the facility cost effective as well as a safe, secure environment for those in need of it.
It is up to members and organizations in our community to step up. We appreciate those who have already given and those who donate regularly. However, until we secure additional grant funding, it is critical that additional funds are donated to allow us to reopen. If an individual or group can commit to funding one or more nights a month, that would be $1,000 or more each month. One-time donations are also greatly appreciated and will enable us to reopen.
A “Go Fund Me” account is being opened, or contributions can be made through the website, www.familiesincrisis.net, or by mail at P.O. Box 25, Killeen, Texas 76540.
The homeless continue to be of utmost importance in our community as well as in other communities across the nation. They are good individuals who have events in their lives that cause them to be homeless.
We provide all the services listed above but also counsel with them, help them develop understanding of budgeting so they can get out on their own, and we help them with housing assistance when they qualify. A huge portion of the mission is to get them back as contributing members of our community.
As most realize, it takes more than one organization to turn homeless lives around. It takes a large portion of the community.
Larry W. Moehnke
Families In Crisis