Recovery center left uncertain during government shutdown: ‘Lives could be changed or lives could be lost’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On Friday, President Donald Trump lifted the government shutdown.  However, he warned if he doesn’t get a fair deal by Feb. 15, the government could close again.  This could be a potential problem for central Indiana shelters for domestic violence or drug addiction.

It’s been several weeks of uncertainty at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center.

“Our arms are open, our heart is open, our spirit is open,” said Major K. Kendall Mathews, the Executive Director of the Harbor Light Center.

For Major Mathews, he’s happy the doors are open, too.  As more than 80 percent of the Harbor Light Center’s budget is government contracts.

“So, we were a little apprehensive and nervous because we didn’t know whether or not or funding would continue or if it would be impacted by the shutdown,” said Major Mathews.

A lack of funding could result in a major reduction of staff members and services that are provided.

Like the detox program, also known now as withdrawal management. The residential treatment program and the other recovery services in the community are at risk. Critical services that were able to continue thanks to the community’s support and help during the shutdown.

The Harbor Light Center noticed an increase in people looking for help during the shutdown, as well. In some cases, first time families looking for help at the food pantries or others needing emergency assistance to help make housing payments.

“We’ve seen people step up to the plate these last couple of weeks,” said Major Mathews. “People who want to volunteer their time, their talents and their treasures.”

Major Mathews says all the center and the people seeking treatment can do now is rely on their faith.

“I think at the end of the day, the government and those in leadership will do the right thing. We believe deep down in their hearts, they know people are being impacted,” said Major Mathews.

In hopes their doors will remain open.

“They cannot skip a beat; our services cannot skip a beat and if they ever do lives could be changed or lives could be lost.”

The Harbor Light Center says they currently have space to take in more people seeking treatment.  If you’re interested in services or volunteering, click here to visit their website.


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