Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Lighthouse Shelter in need of community support

Thursday, July 3, 2014

To: Our community and loyal supporters

The Lighthouse Shelter Board and Staff acknowledge and sincerely regret the unfortunate mismanagement of The Lighthouse Shelter finances by the previous director. Due to this event, a reorganized board has implemented new policies and procedures for documentation and supervision for ALL financial activities. The Lighthouse Shelter is in need of community support more than ever at this difficult time.

The Lighthouse Shelter income consists of grants, donations and fundraising: 75 percent funding from grants, Domestic Violence Shelter and Services (DVSS) Missouri Department of Social Services-Active; Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and State Services to Victims Fund (SSVF) Missouri Department of Public Safety-Suspended for the past 18 months; 25 percent funding from charitable contributions: Are needed to help maintain our shelter operations and services to victims; Fundraising: Four events this calendar year and planning for a Fall 2014 event.

At this time approximately $84,000 of shelter operational funds have been withheld and with each passing month the amount increases by $7,000. According to the Missouri Department of Public Safety these reimbursement funds will not be released until the federal court sentencing of the previousdDirector and restitution to the government has been arranged. It is our understanding that the U.S. Probation and Parole has 90 days for pre-sentence investigation.

At this time we are able to maintain a staff of 20 and cover day-to-day operational expenses through support of a local bank, DVSS Grant and donations. Due to the change of the fiscal year for the State of Missouri, grant funding is disrupted and delayed for six weeks leaving us without DVSS grant reimbursement starting in July. Therefore, the month of July we have no grant support and The Lighthouse Shelter has to rely on charitable donations in order to remain operational. Times are difficult financially with each passing day the Shelter goes deeper into debt. However, we have a positive outlook because we know there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are appealing to our community, businesses, corporations, professional and civic organizations and churches at this time to help keep Yhe Lighthouse Shelter door open.

* Financially: Through the state of Missouri Department of Social Services a 50 percent tax credit is available for donations of $100 or more. The forms are available on our website or by contacting the administration office. However, monetary donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.

* Besides monetary donations, items can be donated toYthe Lighthouse Thrift Store. Personal hygiene products, paper products and other staples are always needed at the shelter and can be dropped off at the administration office.

The Lighthouse Shelter has provided services to 168 resident victims of domestic and sexual violence, support to 221 outreach clients and received and acted on 394 hotline calls this past year. We the staff and board are dedicated to meeting the needs of our community, making survivors out of victims and giving hope for a healthy and loving life to brothers and sisters of domestic and sexual violence. We humbly ask for your support so that we can continue this much needed service.

With respect and sincere appreciation,

--Lighthouse Shelter board and staff