Children’s shelter in Lawrence Co. on better financial footing

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) -  It hasn't been an easy ride for the Children's Shelter since they've opened in 2009. At one point, the shelter was almost non-existent.

"Well there have been a few times in the past where we thought we were going to have to shut our doors," said Administrator, Tonjia Miles.

With changes made in management and a different approach for the future, the Children's Shelter is well on their feet. Much of that is because the community was there to help.

"Surrounding communities are more aware of us now the word has gotten out about us and what we do and our needs and the community has started helping us out a lot more," Miles said.

In an effort to keep the shelter running it takes more money than the government gives each month in funding. Miles said that it takes approximately 20,000 dollars a month to run the shelter.

"We receive 8,000 dollars from the government in board payments so we must make up the deficit of that with fund raisers and donations," Miles said.

Several people were unaware that the non-profit served as a Children's Shelter for the state and not just for Lawrence county.

"People have a misconception that we are just for Lawrence County. We serve all counties in the state of Arkansas," Miles said.

In the midst of doing everything they could to keep their doors open, they've helped several children along the way. Their plan to keep the shelter running smoothly starts with the community and by hosting things like fund raisers and events.

"Since 2009 we have served 511 children from 25 counties," Miles said.

If you would like to help volunteer or give monetary donations to the Children's Shelter you can contact Tonjia Miles at (870) 886-5191.

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