HAZARD – A lack of funding at Community Ministries’ Corner Haven homeless shelter has forced staff to scale back operations in order to keep the shelter open.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Community Ministries Interim Executive Director Adrienne Bush announced that beginning May 22 the shelter would, for the time being, only provide emergency shelter, and longer-term transitional housing would no longer be available.
The shelter opened in 1993, and until Wednesday’s announcement had always offered a mix of both emergency and transitional housing, the latter of which included long-term goals such as employment and education.
“While we serve a critical role in the social safety net, with the spending down of stimulus funds and other uncertain government funding, we currently cannot afford to provide transitional housing,” Bush stated.
The shelter, located at the corner of Memorial Drive and Main Street, will open for dinner and close at breakfast with minimal staffing present during the day. Meals will consist of dinner, a simple breakfast and packed lunches for emergency shelter participants.
In addition to the change in operating times, the restructuring also calls for a reduction in personnel by four employees.
“This restructuring enables the shelter to stay open, rather than shut down completely,” Bush explained. “It also keeps enough infrastructure in place for our services to grow with support from our community and a clearer funding picture from our federal, state, and local governments.”
Bush noted on Wednesday that she projects it may take a year before the shelter is open again for transitional housing, but in the meantime, Community Ministries Board and staff are looking to the community to help support the shelter.
“This change will provide churches, civic groups, and local businesses (an opportunity) to participate on a more meaningful level,” added Bush. “We are working with current partners and seeking new ones to help provide evening meals and other financial and in-kind support.”
For more information on ways to help Corner Haven and Community Ministries, Adrienne Bush can be reached at (606) 439-1122.
Community Ministries is a nonprofit founded in 1976, and provides several other services in Hazard, including a daycare center and a 21st Century program. According to the statement released on Wednesday, the shelter has “provided thousands of nights of shelter, food boxes, hot meals, and financial assistance to help people lead self-sufficient lives.”