The Woodward News

September 8, 2013

Outreach Center suspends services


Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — High Plains Outreach Center board members voted to suspend services at the homeless shelter during an emergency meeting on Sept. 5.

"Even though we've had a pretty good outpouring of followup support this summer, we have continued to struggle in acquiring enough donations to keep operating our facility in the black," said Lettie Chaisson, one of the board members. Chaisson said services will be available until Sept. 15, "in order to allow residents currently there to find other living arrangements."

The outreach center currently has 2 staff members as the former director's last day was Aug. 30.

Chaisson said the board was going to go ahead with its annual fundraising duck race on Sept. 20, "so that we can get our bills paid and pay the staff."

Chaisson emphasized that the center is only suspending services, not closing and is looking to find a way to restart services before the winter months.

Another board meeting is scheduled Monday to discuss various upcoming issues.

The center has struggled with funding for a while as it depends on private donations and fundraisers to operate. It also receives assistance from the United Fund in Woodward.

The duck race and an ethnic food fair have been the organization's big fundraisers, but the center has also held a bowling event and garage sale in recent months to help with expenses.

The center provides temporary transitional housing for the homeless.