Concerned residents involved with the ad hoc group Save Our Shelter said Friday that a hearing regarding the shelter’s lawsuit against the county finally provided an opportunity to hear a rationale for why the county made that decision.
“They had to acknowledge they had not considered the cost to Shelter From the Storm — not just financially but the services,” said Loy Carrington, who is also a current board member for SFS.
Nancy Bachman, another member of SOS and a former SFS board member, said she was even a little surprised to hear county commissioners had not done a financial analysis that compared the cost of demolishing the SFS building to construct a new courthouse with seven other options laid out by the county.
They also noted that no specific discussion took place as to how much financial assistance may have been available to help SFS with the transition.
“And that’s why it’s been so hard for us because they keep saying, ‘We care about the shelter,’” Carrington said. “They’re empty statements — and they’re painful statements.”
Mary Ellen LaBerge, also a SFS board member, said the hearing for her highlighted a lack of understanding of how SFS works, specifically the nonprofit’s concerns for safety.
“I don’t think they even were aware how many full-time staff we have,” she said. “That’s how much they didn’t understand our needs.”
For the complete story, see Monday's edition of The Observer.