Grace House shelter closes its doors due to funding problems

By Brie Jackson - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - A Bedford homeless shelter is now closed due to a lack of money. Pastor Josh Ball runs Grace House Community Church's shelter. He said 26 people were staying at the homeless shelter when the lights were cut off and the organization shut its doors. Ball said donations were down and the organization could not afford to pay its bills.

Ellis Poindexter was surprised to find the doors closed and a note on the Grace House door listing nearby shelters. He said he came to the shelter on Monday looking for his friend who needed a place to stay.

"I don't know, I'm just trying to find her," said Poindexter. "I don't want her to be homeless."

Ball said without grant money they couldn't afford to pay the bills.

"It's been tough, we have 26 folks staying here" said Ball.

Ball says the 26 people inside the shelter when the electricity was cut off were taken to other agencies offering help to the homeless. Some people who asked to not be identified say the shelter had become a "hangout spot" for people. Bedford Police Chief Todd Foreman said officers, along with fire and rescue crews, had responded to the shelter nearly 100 times in six months for various reason.

Ball said it was a drug-free and alcohol-free shelter and many of the calls to police came from Grace House volunteers.

"A glance from the road and you may get a different impression. "The reality is folks here were getting off of addictions and stopping drinking," said Ball. "They were laying down the things they were struggles with for a long time and working to get their lives back together again."

Ball says he plans to raise money and hire grant writers to help get Grace House up and running again.

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