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Money Woes To Close Rogers County Youth Shelter Wednesday

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A look inside the Rogers County Youth Shelter. A look inside the Rogers County Youth Shelter.
Herb McSpadden, the executive director of the Rogers County Youth Shelter. Herb McSpadden, the executive director of the Rogers County Youth Shelter.
Kirt Thacker, Rogers County Commissioner. Kirt Thacker, Rogers County Commissioner.

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma -- The Rogers County Youth Services shelter, in jeopardy of closing, has now made a plea to the county for help.

12/8/2010 Related Story: Budget Cuts Force Rogers County Youth Shelter To Close

When home is not home anymore, kids turn to the Rogers County Youth Shelter. The facility has a warm bed, a hot shower, a kitchen and entertainment. It offers a safe haven when the outside world has not.

"Kids come here for a long period of time," said Herb McSpadden, Rogers County Youth Services Executive Director. "So they have birthdays here. Christmas. We buy presents for them."

Executive director Herb McSpadden says the county cut the shelter's budget by $53,000 this year. They lost another $10,000 from the United Way.

McSpadden says it costs about $310,000 a year to run the shelter. This year they are $45,000 short. And the shelter will have to shut their doors Wednesday, unless they can come up with the money.

"Of course we don't want to see that. We want to see these kids get some help and some counseling and the things they need," said Kirt Thacker, Rogers County Commissioner.

In 2010, 98 kids had the help of the shelter. They come from abusive or broken homes. Some others come because their parents have been arrested and they have no other option.

"What a lot of people may or may not understand is, these kids are not juvenile delinquents," Thacker said. "This is a place for the kids to go when they need some help."

The shelter has made a plea to Roger county commissioners, hoping they can keep the doors open through June. The commissioners have tentatively discussed funding the shelter on a month to month basis.

"In the interim, if it closes for six months, that would be devastating to the kids and the community," Thacker said.

"I would like to say kids will stop needing our shelter. I've been hoping that for a long time but the bottom line is kids still need our shelter," McSpadden said.

The shelter's director says they've received $3,000 to $4,000 in donations. The county commissioners will meet again on Monday.

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