Saturday, October 25, 2014

News
Opp Abuse Shelter Needs Funding Help
By Catalina Trivino


Opp Mayor, John Bartholomew, was unavailable for an interview,

 

CBS 8 asked him what the city plans to do to help. He says at next month's council workshop, he hopes to bring up this issue and also speak with the utility board to help with finances.

The Opportunity House is asking for canned food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, make-up, diapers and baby food.

You can also donate money by sending it to 105 N. Main St. Opp, AL 36467.

Money and donations can be sent/taken to either the shelter or the Opp Police Department.

Questions? Contact the Opportunity House at 334-493-2320.

 

 

HOW TO HELP:

A domestic violence shelter in Opp is in financial trouble and may be forced to close. Now, they're asking for your help because closing it could put lives in danger.

The Opportunity House shelter says they're already working on more cases with fewer employees and less money due to budget cuts. CBS 8 spoke to one woman who used to be an abuse victim and she tells us if the shelter doesn't get help, it could put lives at risk.

Melinda Flemming is now happily married. Looking at her, you'd never know she lived through a nightmare.

"If it had not been for Opportunity House I would be dead today because my abuse had gotten that bad," Said Flemming, came to the shelter twice.

Just five years ago, she was an abuse victim at the hands of someone else, so she walked through the doors of the Opportunity House to seek hope. She says she wants the same for other victims, but due to a lack of funding, the shelter may be forced to close.

"And you can see for yourself what we have... but we have no one in the shelter because we can't afford to offer them the services we used to," Said Executive Director of Opportunity House, Deborah Hooks.

Not only were there multiple empty beds, but also an empty shelter. Hooks says the shelter usually holds about 13 people. On Wednesday, no one was staying at the house -- and the clock is ticking because there's only $8,000 left in the bank, enough to last the shelter three more months before it potentially has to shut down.

"All of these women that we assist in three counties will have no where to go. And they're somebody's mother, daughter, sister. And one out of four women, sometime in their lifetime, will be a victim of domestic violence. It could be your family. And what if they have no where to go?" Said Hooks.

The Opportunity House has been hit with budget cuts the last 12 years. They used to provide child and adult counseling, transportation services, and food -- but all that's in the past -- and victims are only left with a place to stay.

Flemming says she's scared this financial crisis is turning away victims from a better life.

"It scares me because I know there's people out there, like I was, that had no where to go. Nobody. And with Opportunity House, you do have somebody that cares that wants to help you and will help and guide you into what you need to do," Said Flemming.