Homeless shelter needs public help to keep doors open

      The Friendship House in Gaylord is looking for donations and needs a lot of money by the end of next week to stay open.

      An Otsego County homeless shelter can barely stay open due to cuts in state funding and they need the public's help to keep their doors open.

      The Friendship House in Gaylord is looking for donations and needs $9,000 by the end of next week and $150,000 to stay open through 2014. . So far, they have raised some money to help cover the basic costs, but still need help to cover staff and utilities.

      Right now there are 33 people staying at the shelter including 11 children. Shelter officials say that number has gone up in the last decade.

      Officials say as the need for the shelter has grown, the state funding hasn't. Over the last five years, grants have dropped by nearly 60 percent.

      "We've been struggling," said Molly Stewart, case manager at the Friendship House. "We are always thinking of fundraising ideas and trying to get the community involved. We are just at the point where it is just not working as well as we need it to and we need to ask the community to help out."

      The shelter does plan on putting a millage up for a vote on the November 2014 ballot. If approved by voters, it would cost $15,000 per year.

      To help the Friendship House, click here.