Homeless shelter seeks help to pay $11K sewer bill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Homeless shelter seeks help to pay $11K sewer bill

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Homeless for the holidays.  That's the reality facing dozens of people who could soon be kicked out of a Kentuckiana homeless shelter.

Jeffersonville's Haven House has had financial problems for years but this time it's an $11,000 sewer bill that has its future in jeopardy.

"We might end up not having a home," said resident Paula Hart.

Hart came to the shelter after falling on hard times a few years ago.  She explains, "I didn't really have any relatives here in Indiana so, I was left without money, without nothing at all. I bounced from place to place until a preacher took me over here."

Since coming here, Hart has made the best of a bad situation and is now also the head cook.  But these days, the Haven House seems to stay in hot water.  In fact, that &11,000 sewer bill is threatening to close it down.

"We gave the water company the authority to shut off water if the sewer bill was delinquent, over three months or over a hundred dollars," said Jeffersonville city council member Dennis Julius.

Julius stands behind the move to collect delinquent sewer bills.  He explains, "The sewer department has got an outstanding revenue... an overdue revenue of about $1.2 million dollars; our intent was to collect that revenue."

But Julius is also working to help Haven House raise the money.  Without it, the shelter will lose its water service and license to operate. 

"I think it would be tragic, it's not what our community needs. They reach out all the time to help folks in many different ways," said Julius.

Julius has set up a fund and is hoping the community will reach out again to help the haven house and people like Paula Hart who call it home.  He says, "I just think it's the right thing to do."

"I have a place to go if it comes down to it," said Hart.

Hart has her "plan B" but she's worried about everyone else.  She said,"There are little children, parents, single mothers.  Where are they going to go?"

The sewer bill is already overdue so one could say the deadline has come and gone. Right now, 85 people are living at the Haven House. 

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