Bethesda House officials: We’re making progress

Published 12:41 am Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bethesda House officials say they are working diligently to get the domestic violence shelter up and running as quickly as possible.

Board member Cindy Howard said the board has made some progress thus far and hopes to open as soon as possible.

“We understand the urgency of opening because people in our community unfortunately need the safety and security the shelter will provide,” she said. “We are working as hard as we can give that we have a part-time director and all the board members have full-time jobs.”

“Inside of the shelter has been painted,” she said. “Fence has been rebuilt and expanded (to) increase safety and security.”

She said that new playground equipment has been ordered and is being assembled.

“Some new furniture and a used refrigerator (have been) donated,” she said.

They have also secured funding to make one bathroom ADA compliant and she said that work on that would begin soon.

Howard said the board also has had support in fundraising efforts.

“Several successful fundraising efforts and significant gifts of money and in-kind items from a variety of groups and organizations have been given,” she said. “We’ve had great community support.”

Howard said they plan to continue cleaning and organizing the inside of the shelter, enhancing the security system and continuing with maintenance projects, including making facility entrances accessible for the disabled.

They are also working to regain their certification from the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

She said Bethesda House’s greatest needs right now are funds to complete maintenance and building projects.

Contributions of any size are appreciated, she said.

The new domestic violence shelter was announced in June 2015 and will open in the old Opportunity House location in Opp, which closed its doors in 2013 due to budget cuts.

After the closure, the board asked for a formal investigation into the alleged misuse of funds. However, no charges have been filed.