Holly Place president says finances are dire

September 23, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |

Money is so tight at the Holly Place senior citizen group home in Hagerstown, it could shut down soon, board President Douglas Wright Jr. said Thursday.

"We're still fighting a mighty fight," Wright said.

Holly Place, a South Potomac Street group home for 15 senior citizens, has struggled for years to stay open.

In 2006, Senior Living Alternatives Inc., the nonprofit organization that runs the home, had to close a second group home, North Holly Place, which also had 15 beds.

"Some of our funding streams from the past are not there now," Wright said. "We're struggling to stay open."

The organization's board now is looking a week at a time at finances and whether it's time to close, he said.

If that happened, Senior Living Alternatives probably would give 60 days' notice. However, it's a last resort, Wright said; many Holly Place clients would have nowhere else to go.

Wright said Holly Place has a $650,000 budget. It gets money from Medicaid, the city of Hagerstown, Washington County and the county's gaming commission, but still has a shortfall, he said.

The organization has tried to raise money through a secondhand store in Public Square — which Wright said takes in about $6,500 per year — and a dance.

Now, Holly Place supporters are working on other ideas.

One is a "bonanza" fundraiser such as what the local firefighters union does, but on a lesser scale. People would pay for an admission ticket to a fun event, during which prize drawings would be held.

Other possibilities are a battle of the bands and a yard sale.

After Wright wrote a letter to the editor to The Herald-Mail at the end of August detailing Holly Place's plight, people responded with donations and ideas for other fundraisers, he said.

For now, the group is hoping to raise about $50,000, which Wright said would buy some time, but wouldn't guarantee that the home would make it through the year.

The Herald-Mail Articles