Greencastle Group Eyes New Homeless Shelter But Needs Cash

The City of Greencastle may use as much as $200,000 of its rainy day fund to help a local group re-establish a homeless shelter in the community.

A sign in the window of a vacant Greencastle property.

Photo: Stan Jastrzebski / Indiana Public Media

A sign in the window of a vacant Greencastle property.

Pending inspection of a building near city hall which has been identified as a possible home for a shelter, Greencastle officials may be ready to dip into the city’s reserves to purchase the property for any local group which coalesces around filling the gap created when the city’s Away Home shelter closed in 2011. There’s at least one such group already, calling itself Beyond Homeless Incorporated, but they don’t have a date by which they can have a shelter open.

“We’ve had at least six dates in mind,” says Beyond Homeless Secretary Bob Sedlack.  He says members of the board are now trying to find the cash to fund ongoing operations.

“We have identified people in the community whom we think are major donors – could be major donors – and several of us are in the process of getting in touch with them,” Sedlack says.

But Sedlack says the organization doesn’t have a single point person someone charged with bringing in money, which hampers efforts to get the shelter started.  Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray says while the city can purchase the building, it will quickly want others to start paying the bills.

“That’s the one thing we don’t want to have happen,” Murray says. “The city does not want to be in the business of owning a shelter and we would have to have an organization in place that would be immediately ready to go into a lease-purchase agreement with the city for the shelter – for the operation of the shelter and for the ultimate ownership of the shelter.”

Sedlack says Beyond Homeless has secured promises for several large gifts but still needs at least an additional $75,000 a year in commitments before the building can open.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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