Last week the Shade Tree announced that it would close its long-term transitional shelter program at the end of the month. The closure will halve the nonprofit’s ability to help abused women and their families (the short-term emergency shelter will remain open).
Coupled with maintenance fees and necessities, federal funding cuts have caused the nonprofit to scale back over the past few years. A new fundraiser, “Invest in Us,” will attempt to raise $2.3 million to reopen the long-term shelter, which offers up to a year of assistance. “We’ve done everything we can to try to keep [it] open,” says PR director Zakeisha Steele Jones. “Our building is old, and a lot of times our utilities are in the $10,000 range every month.” Shade Tree will host an August 24 ribbon cutting beginning at 10 a.m., “to invite the community to come see what we’re all about, so we can keep women and children off the streets.”