NAMPA -- After a long road of financial troubles, the Valley Crisis Center in Nampa will officially close to new clients Friday and filter out its remaining clients over the next month using help from another shelter.
The situation has been unraveling for a while, according to center officials. Recent troubles include an employee walk-out, liens on the property, and recently more than $100,000 in grant money suspended due to concerns about violations of labor law
"We decided that every day we stay open, we are incurring more and more debt," said Mike Wagoner, who sits on the Valley Crisis Center board of directors.
DEBT AND PROBLEMS
Because of the closure, the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance will stop investigating claims it says it had about the shelter, which caused them to suspend funding. The Council says allegations were regarding labor law questions and money possibly not being well-spent.
Wagoner says they couldn't keep going with compounding debt and problems, including the recent suspension of a grant from the Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance.
Wagoner declined to comment on how much debt there is or the Council's investigation, but he said the big problem is and has been money.
"It was a hard decision to come to," Wagoner said. "Not one that any of us took lightly," Wagoner said. "Being a non-profit organization, being in the type of business we are, it's a lot of hand to mouth, so everything is always close. So not having a reserve, not having a cushion to continue on when things got a little more difficult really kind of did us in."
On Friday, the shelter will stop taking more women and children in crisis. The 25 or so staying there now will be able to remain for a month while Hope's Door, a Caldwell shelter, brings in employees for short-term staffing before the Nampa shelter locks its doors for good.
While Wagoner and the board were optimistic to problem-solve earlier issues, this time he says it's over for good.
"To get your hopes up and then to have those crushed is pretty devastating," Wagoner said. "And then to tie to that -- that it's not just something we're trying to get accomplished, but to realize those are people's lives we're dealing with. These are people that have no other place to go," Wagoner said.
The center now plans to sell its building to pay off debt. Wagoner says the sale will totally cover what they owe. He says the building is worth $600,000 to $1 million.