Upgrades Being Made to Shelter

The South Harbor Shelter, operated through Multi-County Community Service Agency, is the only one that serves families. The Salvation Army facility houses men only.

Last summer, South Harbor was in danger of closing due to an $85,000 budget deficit. There wasn't enough money to operate through the end of the year.

However, generous donations from the community helped keep it open, not only throughout the remainder of last year, but also through the first part of this one.

A wall is currently being removed to expand the shelter's pantry.

"We have some money that had been given toward renovations, but it can only be used for renovations," said Callie Cole, executive director of MCCSA.

That's money that was donated last year by a local donor who wants to remain anonymous.

A second room is being cleared to store food. This is extra space which shelter officials say is direly needed.

Another need for the shelter has also been met. Recently, shelter funds were used to purchase 120 lockers for storage, and soon work will begin to fix its leaky roof.

The money to make these purchases, repairs and renovations is coming from donations and state grants.

For this year, the shelter was able to secure an additional state grant. This reduces the amount of donations that the agency will need to operate for 2013 to just over $57,000.

"We're ready," Cole said. "We're not resting, but we're sure that we're going to raise that money."

With state grant money and funds left from what was donated last year, Cole says the shelter has enough to stay open through at least September.

"I just want to thank the community because without them we couldn't have raised that money last year," said Cole. "They always come through when we really need."

Each year it takes almost $195,000 annually to operate South Harbor Shelter.

It can house up to 34 people per night. It's now averaging about 17 to 20. Both family units at the shelter are currently filled.