Murray shelter in danger of closing

The Gentry House, Murray’s only transitional shelter, is set to close June 30 if it cannot find funding to continue operations.

The house, established in 1997, is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to families with children in a state of emergency. They provide information and referrals to families looking to secure permanent housing.

The Gentry House is operating on a five-month budget to see it through until June 30 and is no longer accepting applications for occupancy.

The City of Murray is exploring options to find funding to keep The Gentry House open.

Rose Allbritten, a member of the Gentry House board of directors, brought the situation to the city council and cited the frequent change in directors as part of the shelter’s problem.

“We can’t keep a director that is willing and able to do all of the jobs that are required in that position,” she said. “People have to have a job that can sustain them and you can’t do that on $12,000 a year.”

Mayor Bill Wells remains positive a resolution can be found to keep The Gentry House operating.

“I think the community has to buy into this at some level.,” Wells said. “We aren’t under the gun to make a decision this week. We have time to revisit the issue.”

A search for new board members is ongoing. The city council has also discussed making long-term plans to help with funding.

Linda Cherry, city council member, highlighted the importance of resolving the situation.

“This service is for people with children,” Cherry said. “We are talking about the welfare of children who have no say about the situation they are in.”

 

Story by Alex McLaughlin, Staff writer