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Centerpoint Community Services temporarily closes because of lac - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Centerpoint Community Services temporarily closes because of lack of funds

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Centerpoint Community Services and the 211 Call Center, a human services resource center in Shreveport, shut down temporarily because of lack of money.

Almost 25,000 people are helped through the nonprofit each year.

It helps those who face homelessness, in need of assistance paying utilities and even getting medication.

The nonprofit's board of directors made the decision because there is no money to continue providing services.

Treasurer Doyle Adams said 90 percent of the funds that ran Centerpoint came from state and federal grants. With budget cuts the past few years, the money is just not there.

"We're taking a hiatus to try to restructure how we approach our fundraising and hopefully we'll be able to come to come back and be able to offer another model of receiving funds," said Adams.

The board said it will take the next 90 days to come up with a restructing plan. In the meantime, seven employees will be laid off.

As its name says, Centerpoint is the go-to resource center for a lot of information.

Several other nonprofits refer people to Centerpoint because they are staffed and equipped to help point folks in the right direction.

The news of it closing was tough for some to hear.

"I came up here to get some assistance with a prescription, where I've come a few times before," said Jimbeaux. "So I should be on file, still yet. And I'm wondering why they aren't here to help.'

Jimbeaux rode up to Centerpoint's office Wednesday on his bike and was greeted by a sign saying it was temporarily closing. The sight of it surprised him and he worries about those who need Centerpoint's help.

"I know several people that use this resource," said Jimbeaux. "I've met a few people here and I've seen people come in who I've known from out on the street. They all need this place too, as bad as I do."

Bruce Willson, president & CEO of  Untied Way of Northern Louisiana, said the temporary closure of the 211 Call Center is the biggest loss in this situation.

He said there will now be no one in northwest Louisiana to provide a referral system in case someone is in a crisis situation.

"Everyone refers people to 211," said Willson. "When someone comes in our door, and ask us for something we don't provide that something. We have them call 211. [BUTTED TO] It's going to be a huge loss."

The United Way works with other 211 agencies in the state to cover this area, but that does not help Jimbeaux get his help in Shreveport.

"I'm going to have find other means to handle my prescriptions," he said. "Kinda lost without Centerpoint. We need 'em."

This lack of money does not come as a surprise to Centerpoint's Board of Directors. They say they've been working on other revenue streams for the past two or three years, but just have not come up with enough.

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