St. Vincent board comments on decision to close shelter
St. Vincent de Paul Board of Directors release
MARSHFIELD — In an effort to dispel rumors regarding the future of the Marshfield Family Shelter and the reasons for its closure, the St. Vincent de Paul Board of Directors has released the following statement:
The decision to close the Marshfield Family Shelter and disband the Shelter Board was not taken lightly and was not made in haste, but was done so after dealing with a long string of issues that stemmed back for quite some time.
Lacking experience in running a shelter – especially of this size and nature – we didn’t anticipate the extent of various social issues that the shelter and staff would face in assisting the homeless population, i.e. drug addiction, mental illness, crime, and abuse.
In addition to basic safety concerns for the staff and residents, there are the financial constraints that come with running a non-profit shelter funded largely in part by community donations and contributions from other non-profit organizations. Our responsibility to maintain the integrity of the goal: serving the community and providing safe environment with the resources, funding, and staff that we had.
We understand it is a difficult time for the shelter to close, so we have committed as many resources as necessary to helping the displaced residents. We also recognize the level of sadness and disappointment of many people within the community at the closure of the shelter, but it is our goal to see the building open again as a shelter in the future.
We ask the community to give us time to determine the best way to make this happen. We are working to find an organization that will continue our original mission. This is no simple undertaking. Other organizations that are considering it need time to determine if they can even manage such a task; they, too, have staffing, security, and funding issues to consider.
We want to reiterate that we will continue to explore possibilities and work together to keep the building for its original purpose: to offer shelter to those most in need.