Future Of Emergency Shelter Is Uncertain

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

The Bell County Emergency Shelter gives about 30 homeless people a safe place to sleep every month, but with its small budget and few volunteers its future is in jeopardy.

WYMT’s Marie Luby talked to a man who credits the shelter with turning his life around...and is now doing his part to keep it open.

Bill Ball lost his job and his home on the same day in August. With no family or friends to turn to for help, he went to the Bell County Emergency Shelter.

“I would've been sleeping in the woods,” Ball said.

Ball spent his nights here while he looked for a new job during the day.

Last month the shelter's former director asked Ball to fill in for a few night shifts no one was able to cover.

“They might have had to close the doors and I wasn't going to let that happen, especially not after they helped me,” Ball said.

Ball's determination to help turned into 28 hours a week of volunteering, on top of 35 hours a week working at McDonald's.

“If he hadn't been here to help out and fill in all those hours, we wouldn't have anybody to be here with the people..you won't be able to keep the doors open that way,” David Deitsch said.

But even with volunteers like Ball, the shelter is still in trouble. It needs a new director and case manager. There's no one to keep the shelter open during the daytime hours.

“We live a lot on donations here. But it's not really enough to keep the daily operation going,” Ball said.

Ball says he has a special reason to donate so much of his time.

With winter less than a month away, Ball hopes more volunteers can help bring others in from the cold.

To find out how you can help, call the shelter at 606-337-5519.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by anon. Location: pineville on Nov 29, 2007 at 05:30 PM
    I am bothered by the fact that there are a few "very" dedicated volunteers at the Bell Co. Shelter that were overlooked in this article. I am positive that one person is not carrying the load. volunteers are probably needed, however, I hope the volunteers they have there on a weekly basis are appreciated also. If they only credit one to keeping the doors open, that is sad.Of course that is only the oppinion of Mr.Detiesh and Mr. Ball. Maybe they should have talked to others who have stayed there, or yet, other volunteers, for accuracy.
  • by Randall Location: Pineville on Nov 28, 2007 at 11:25 AM
    Maybe we can get a donation from one of the Unlicensed Pharmaceutical Distributors we have in Bell County. (Everybody has a fancy title these days.) Since they make their money by destroying peoples lives and costing them everything they owm, how about we take a little back. A $10,000 donation sounds about right. Might not help them sleep better at night but perhaps their victims can. Do we have to call you out by name?
  • by friend of the shelter Location: bell on Nov 28, 2007 at 05:58 AM
    IF THEY HAD SOME ONE IN CHARGE THAT APRECIATED THE HELP THEY HAD INSTEAD OF PUSHING HIM OUT IN THE FRIST PLACE THEN THEY MIGHT NOT BE IN THE SHAPE THEY ARE IN!!!!!!!! BE MORE THANKFUL FOR THE HELP YOU HAVE AND THEY MIGHT BE AROUND LONGER!!!!!

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