The Woodward News

Local News

July 12, 2013

Outreach Center needs help to keep services

Woodward, Okla. — Earlier this summer, High Plains Outreach Center in Woodward was considering temporarily suspending its services for the homeless.

Kristi Prophet, executive director for the outreach center, said "we had got to the point where we had set a date to suspend services.  We had set a date of June 1."

If the suspension had gone forward, she said the Outreach Center would have stopped all in-house services.

"We would still try to assist with resources and in what other ways we could, but we could not afford to continue to take in anymore clients and house them," she said.

However, as people began to hear about the proposed suspension and expressed concerns about even temporarily losing this valuable service, Prophet said the Outreach Center's board of directors decided to "reach out to our donors first in an effort to stay open."

After receiving a little bit of help, she said "we decided to continue to move forward until we absolutely can't go anymore."

But the same problem that had the center thinking about suspending services still exists.

And that problem is "simply a lack of funds," Prophet said.

"I don't know what happened, we seemed to be doing well.  We had a successful Ethnic Food Fair in January.  But then around March, I don't know if it was because of taxes or what, but the money stopped coming in.  It just started to pick back up a bit in June because of our efforts, but we're still in great need of more financial donations," she said.

She said it's become such a financial struggle that the center decided not to hire a replacement day worker when their previous one quit.  But even with just 3 employees now, including Prophet and 2 house managers who work the night and weekend shifts, she said that "every 2 weeks we struggle to try and make payroll."

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