Haven House struggles to get donations to pay sewer bill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Haven House struggles to get donations to pay sewer bill

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Nearly 100 people at a local shelter are no longer in danger of becoming homeless during the holidays.

Jeffersonville's Haven House is overcoming an $11,000 obstacle a few dollars at a time, but it's not out of the woods yet. So far, Haven House has raised $8,000 of that unpaid sewer bill, but the shelter needs another $3,000 to keep the water running.

Barbara Anderson, the executive director of the Haven House, says the shelter has been in hot water lately over the $11,000 sewer bill.

"It's pretty scary," said Anderson. "It is probably not as scary as the time we were going to lose the place because of the tax sale, but it certainly is up there."

"We simply had no money to pay -- that's why we didn't pay," Anderson said.

The trouble started when Jeffersonville's City Council voted to allow the water company to cut services to delinquent customers.

"And I think that was totally unintentional," Anderson said. "I know it was on the part of the council, they've told me that."

The goal was to collect more than $1 million in overdue revenue.

"They didn't even think about who would have owed sewer bills -- they thought about getting 1.2 million dollars paid," she said.

Since then, the community has donated $8,000.

"It's so grassroots," Anderson said. "I'll go into a grocery store, and a lady hands me $5, or we were sitting and having coffee one day, and a man walked up and put $100 on the table."

The Haven House is home to nearly 100 people -- and most of them are trying to help.

"They passed the hat in the residence meeting two weeks ago, and they raised $42, just by passing the hat here," Anderson said.

Shaun Baumia is not only donating money, but he is also working with his employer to have a fundraiser, because if the Haven House closes, that's probably the end of the road for him.

"They're giving us a place to stay, so we don't have to stay in the cold and stuff like that," said Baumia. "So if you have the extra money, I think you should help." 

"Honestly, I really have no idea, I mean, there's really nowhere else to go," Baumia added.

Although there's really no official deadline, the Haven House hopes to raise the remaining money in the next few weeks. Donations can be made at Your Community Bank in Jeffersonville.

Copyright 2013 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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