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Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pelathe Center aims for fresh start

October 9, 2007

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Local non-profit cleans house in attempt to move forward

Riddled with funding cuts in recent years, the Pelathe Community Resource Center has cut programs - and as 6News reporter Laura McHugh explains, the agency is now cutting space. Enlarge video

A local nonprofit agency is cleaning house in hopes of making a fresh start.

Workers at Pelathe Community Resource Center conducted a giveaway Monday to clear the first floor of their office building at 15th Street and Haskell Avenue. They gave away furniture, clothing and office supplies, and auctioned American Indian jewelry, art and crafts. Once they clear the floor, they plan to move into the basement and rent out the open space.

"We're hoping by cutting back on our spending we'll be able to acquire some more funding and try to start operating more programs," said Teresa Staskal, executive director of the center.

In recent years, the center offered educational programs and case management to low-income Lawrence residents, particularly to Americans Indians. Because of funding cuts, the center now can operate only seven transitional housing units for families and a food pantry, which is open Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteer Tina Hernandez runs the food pantry, and estimates it serves 40 to 50 families a month. She said closing the pantry is not an option.

"Because there's such a need, especially in this neighborhood. There's not any service here," Hernandez said.

Staskal agrees few services exist in this part of east Lawrence. "We have a lot of families that live close by and services really aren't offered anywhere else within walking distance, especially for families that don't have vehicles," she said.

The center's board members hope the change of office space will mark a change for the organization, which opened as the Lawrence Indian Center in 1972. Freda Gipp, board president, hopes that with a new focus, the center can get back some of the grants it lost in recent years.

"We hope to stabilize our board and get a strategic plan in place," Gipp said. "We're really looking for board members to help us get back on track."

Comments

nedcolt 6 years, 9 months ago

I no longer support the center because of their support for leanard Peltier

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kcwarpony 6 years, 9 months ago

Where does it state that the Pelathe Community Resource Center supports Leonard Peltier?

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kcwarpony 6 years, 9 months ago

Is that why they've lost grants? 501(c)3 can't support causes like Peltier and co-sponsoring an event would be considered support. They are 501(c)3 aren't they?...well, maybe not many more...

Hope the next board is a little smarter.

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badger 6 years, 9 months ago

You know, though, if a majority of people they serve and people who support them support Leonard Peltier, and the people in the organization personally support his cause, wouldn't it make sense for them to do so as a community organization? Maybe I'm wrong and a lot of people in the community they serve don't support Leonard Peltier and would stop supporting the center because of it; I don't know.

I mean, sure, taking any stance at all risks losing them some support from one side or another, but I would think it was a lot worse if many people in the community and the organization itself supported the cause but the Center refused to take a position for fear of alienating some potential donors. I guess it depends on how much of a community position it is.

Nedcolt, I respect your right not to give to them; that's perfectly reasonable. But I also respect the fact that they're maintaining an involvement in the social and political issues that many people in their community have strong feelings about.

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badger 6 years, 9 months ago

(sorry for the double post)

kcwarpony, I didn't realize they had 501(c)3 standing to lose. If so, then it actually doesn't make sense to risk that. Huh. You learn something new every day.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 9 months ago

nedcolt, Just how much money did you used to give them?

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Mike Ford 6 years, 9 months ago

Let's see. The FBI goes on a fishing expedition because of the Major Crimes Act of 1886 on Indian land at Pine Ridge. A shootout ensues. At the end of the shootout, two FBI agents are found killed. This incident overshadows perhaps seventy-five Lakota people killed in shoot-outs with the Guardians of The Oglallah Nation (Goons) between 1970 and 1975. A burnt up AR-15 is found on the Kansas turnpike and is used to frame Leonard Peltier after he is questionably extradited on the testimony of a mentally-ill and coerced Lakota woman threatened by FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation from Canada. He has served 33 years for two counts of ATTEMPTED second degree murder. That's about 20 years more than most people get for this sentence. TELL ME HE ISN'T A POLITICAL PRISONER? In 1985, the U.S. Attorney General admitted there wasn't a strong case for keeping Mr. Peltier in prison. Yet he's been moved from Leavenworth to Indiana. The Pelathe Center probably doesn't have the luck of being a faith-based center to get funding from this administration. Churches haven't exactly been the best friends of indigenous people, so Pelathe treads on.

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kcwarpony 6 years, 9 months ago

badger, I am assuming they are 501(c)3. Yeah, I know what "assume" stands for :) So, I could be wrong. I was just wondering if that was the reason for the funding problems and losing grants. I was at the event and I didn't remember the Pelathe Center's involvement.

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kcwarpony 6 years, 9 months ago

Whatever the reasons for their troubles, I hope the Pelathe Center can bounce back. The community needs them.

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broddie 6 years, 9 months ago

The Pelathe Center has not lost 501c3 funding. The Center has stayed out of politics for the most part. I hope they turn it around.

BTW, Clinton almost granted Peltier clemency, but he was worried about Hillary's future career, so he caved into pressure from the former governor of S.Dakota.

Free Peltier.

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