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Harmony Place Shelter Closes its Doors from Financial Struggles

Lack of funding has caused the one and only shelter for abused women to close its doors after struggling to uphold its costs.
FRONT ROYAL, Va. - The one and only shelter in Warren County now has its door closed, a move that has not been taken lightly amongst the community.
 
Harmony Place stands in the middle of Downtown Front Royal, an area with high traffic and pedestrians.
 
It was a shelter for abused women, a second home for being away from the domestic violence.
 
One woman who made frequent donations to the shelter's thrift shop, says it was a shelter that provided protection and security.
 
"I donated food one time and I know they were in a protective situation. You had to push a button, the call button to be allowed entry," said Sandra Kiepher.
 
The decision to close its doors was a tough one among its board members but also a necessary one.
 
According to the press release, the closing was due to a variety of reasons such as: the restructuring of the grant system at both state and federal levels, mandated changes in shelter and re-housing laws, and reimbursement delays.
 
"I know that they had some problems with their thrift store itself and they had to close that. The people who ran it and the volunteers were quite disappointed that they weren't able to resolve some of the financial issues," said Kiepher.
 
The Second Chance Thrift Shop was started by the shelter, a way to generate revenue and provide clothing to the women.
 
However, the store began to lose money as its competition increased with other discount retailers around. According to the press release, the store closed in December and "fundraising efforts to date have failed to make up for lost revenue and growing expenses."
 
"The Second Chance Thrift Store started to provide financial support and also clothing item and household items to those people who lived above the thrift store," said Kiepher.
 
Heidi Lesinski, the Board President stated in the release, "The sale would allow Harmony Place to downsize into new quarters while adjusting to new mandates in shelter and rapid re-housing programs."
 
While its doors remain closed, board members want women to know counseling and hotline services are still available to those experiencing domestic and sexual violence.
 
Emergency shelters can be arranged for those facing severe danger. If you would like to speak to someone, please call (540)-635-9062.

 

 


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