UPDATE: Catholic Charities of WV to Continue Operating Despite VAC Closure

By: James Sparvero Email
By: James Sparvero Email
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UPDATE 4/23/2014 11:00 AM

As we told you earlier this week, the Volunteer Action Center of the Mid-Ohio Valley is closing their Market Street offices, but not all services will end.

Including the Catholic Charities of West Virginia.

The non-profit organization provides emergency help to their clients, like paying utilities.

Volunteers also help with local food drives.

Catholic Charities has been a tenant of VAC for several years.

But now, the agency says their services are expanding and it's time to move on.

"Our program has grown tremendously over the last year. And we were considering larger space," says Deborah Shaffer, with Catholic Charities of West Virginia.

Shaffer says Catholic Charities is looking for other office space locations.

The group is hoping to stay downtown.

Shaffer says that's the best location to serve her clients.

UPDATE 4/21/2014 4:25 PM

The Volunteer Action Center of the Mid-Ohio Valley is closing, but not all services will end.

We're hearing from the group taking over one of the center's key programs.

The board of directors at the Volunteer Action Center says all operations are closing effective the end of the month, but it's not all bad news for some of their programs.

That includes the VAC's information and referral program - you may know it at home as dialing "211" on your phone - which links callers to a statewide informational hotline.

That service will now be transferred to the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The United Way's offices on Grand Central already provide similar assistance through their emergency services coordinator.

So for management, the transfer makes a lot of sense.

"We're kind of a real key link in the community," says Joyce Mather, with United Way Alliance of the MOV. "And this I think will hopefully help that surface, that by stepping up to keep 211 going. That's really important."

The center's board of directors say financial problems are the main factor for their decision to close.

They say the program had a hard time attracting and retaining non-profit agencies to rent office space.

Also, they tell us they had difficulties securing grant funding.

The Volunteer Action Center launched in 1995, promoting volunteer work and working with various non-profit organizations.

Two more key programs are being transferred.

Faithlink and the Child Care Food Program will be transferred to Community Resources.

The Volunteer Action Center of the Mid-Ohio Valley is shutting down.

According to a news release from Tom Heller, vice-president of the organization's board of directors, it is closing April 30.

"The difficulty in attracting and retaining not-for-profit agencies to sublease office space and in securing grant funding were the main factors in the decision," Heller said in the release.

The VAC was founded in 1995 to promote volunteerism and help non-profit organizations link people to services.

The VAC’s key programs will be transferred to other agencies.

FaithLink, in which volunteers help the elderly stay in their homes, will move to Community Resources, Inc.

The Child Care Food program, which provides financial assistance for nutritional meals for childcare providers, will also be transferring to Community Resources.

The VAC’s Information and Referral program, which links callers to a statewide database of health and human services, will be transferred to the United Way of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

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