Transition House short $40,000
Bingo fundraising to keep shelter open year-round

by Glenn Taylor
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Sep 26/97) - The Inuvik Transition House board has decided to keep the facility running year-round, despite a chronic shortage of the funds to do so.

The centre has never received enough funding to run the operation year-round since the house for battered women and families was first established in Inuvik five years ago, said executive director Brenda Bernhardt-MacNabb.

To cover the shortfall, the board has been closing the centre down for about two months per year.

But the board decided this year that the facility should be open year-round, to reflect the year-round nature of spousal abuse which prompts women to take shelter at the house.

The eight-bed facility received about $190,000 this year for operations, but that's far short of what's needed. The board estimates that costs will exceed the budget by $40,000 this year, a small part to pay for a long overdue raise to staff members.

"For that kind of work, you need continuity, and you're not going to get that paying $9 per hour," said Penny Squires, president of the board.

The board has applied for a bingo licence to raise the cash. "Bake sales really don't cut it," admitted Squires. The board will also raise money through its T-shirt sales, and will continue to rely on kindly donations from groups like the Hunters and Trappers Committee, which supplies the centre with meat.

The centre has been open for five years, but not consecutively so. It was closed for financial mismanagement, and then reopened in September of 1994. Since then, "we've been rarely vacant," said Bernhardt-MacNabb.