The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

August 31, 2013

Time to help agency that helps others

For the past 26 years, the Victory Center Rescue Mission has been providing shelter, meals and services to those in need — homeless families, men and women with children.

A place where its organizers strive to provide a caring and supportive environment where lives are changed and individuals regain their self-esteem, the shelter can house around 50 people, serves three meals in the dining room every day and offers a clean change of clothes and beds every evening. There are showers, laundry facilities and a chapel, as well.

It provides financial assistance to those who are about to become homeless, free medical treatment for the uninsured and substance-abuse counseling and classes for those struggling with addiction. Along with helping people get back on their feet, the Victory Center has partnered with local agencies that will help employ the men and women who come through the doors.

It is indisputable that this shelter provides much-needed services in Clinton. But now it is facing a crisis of its own.

The Victory Center’s leaders say that with donations down and the needs of the poor and needy rising, the Women and Children’s facility needs help right away so it doesn’t have to turn people away — something it has had to do at the rate of about three families per day.

There are space needs, but the center also needs monetary help to keep the lights on, the water running, perform maintenance, provide counseling and transport the women back and forth to work and their classes. The women’s home also is in need of food, hygiene products, diapers and baby furniture.

It all is leading the center to call on the help of the community, pointing out that those in need of assistance could be their neighbors, friends, veterans and loved ones.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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