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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

After three months Lawrence County Council finally approves Opiate Settlement Funds for Men's Warming Shelter

BEDFORD - MARCH 1, 2024 - The Lawrence County Council finally approved Rodney Fish's request for the Opiate Settlement funds of $30,000 to be given to the Men's Warming Shelter.


All the county council members voting in favor of the request after some council members including Amy Redman wanting a clear picture of how the money will be utilized.



Commissioner Fish made request after the Lawrence County Commissions voted 2-1 to give the Men's Warming Shelter the funds back in December.


Lawrence County Commissioner Dustin Gabhart voted against the proposal during their meeting back in December.


Lawrence County Commissioner Dustin Gabhart voted against the request stating the Men's Warming Shelter is not addressing homelessness in Lawrence County. The Men's Warming Shelter is open to those who do not reside in Lawrence County.


Many residents in Lawrence County are having trouble getting assistance because of many restrictions, rules and barriers that many churches, organizations and non- profits have placed on local residents in getting assistance.


Many residents are living on the streets, vehicles, and campers throughout Lawrence County. Homelessness has grown over the years in the county for a variety of reasons.



Orginal story : LAWRENCE COUNTY - DECEMBER 23, 2023 - The Lawrence County Council tabled the request from Lawrence County Commissioner's Rodney Fish's to give the Men's Warming Shelter a one time donation of $30,000 from the county's opiate settlement.



Lawrence County Council member Amy Redman wanted more time to review the request and the county's opiate settlement.


Lawrence County Council member Rick Butterfield asked Commissioner Rodney Fish whether other non- profits was asked to submit proposals for the $35,000 that can be distributed to the other non-profits in Lawrence County.


Butterfield stated other non-profits like the Boys and Girls Club, Lawrence County Patient Services and Becky's place should be considered for the unrestrictive portion of funds. Only $35,000 unrestrictive funds is available to the local non-profits in the first distribution to the county.


Fish stated they have not asked for other proposals.


However, Sheriff Day on Tuesday morning asked for funds to help with mental health at the county jail. (more coming in another story)



File photo Lawrence County Council members


Some of the Lawrence County Council was concerned about all the money going to one specific non-profit.


 In a 2- 1 vote back in November, the Lawrence County Commissioners approved $30,000 of unrestricted funds to go towards the Men's warming Shelter in Bedford.


Lawrence County Commissioners


This is a onetime donation.


The Men's Warming Shelter operation costs are $234,000 a year. ( Note in a previous story this amount was $273,000. Heather Flynn stated the amount was $234,000 Tuesday night during the county council meeting.


Lawrence County Commissioner Dustin Gabhart voted against the request stating the Men's Warming Shelter is not addressing homelessness in Lawrence County. The Men's Warming Shelter is open to those who do not reside in Lawrence County.


Many residents in Lawrence County are having trouble getting assistance because of many restrictions, rules and barriers that many churches, organizations and non- profits have placed on local residents in getting assistance.


Many residents are living on the streets, vehicles, and campers throughout Lawrence County. Homelessness has grown over the years in the county for a variety of reasons.


Fish told the council members that the Men's warming Shelter have requested the funding previously and its time to act.


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