By Nathan Baker
Two local organizations accustomed to helping people in need are now turning to each other when in need of help themselves.
On Thursday during a brief meeting at the Carter County Jail, the CHIPS Family Violence Shelter gifted $1,000 to the Shepherd’s Inn, a sister shelter in Elizabethton.
Executive Director Carolyn McAmis of CHIPS, or Change Is Possible, said the Erwin shelter hopes to further its own mission of helping victims of domestic violence by lending aid to Shepherd’s Inn.
“We’ve been very blessed,” McAmis said. “The community has been wonderful to us and supported us when we needed it, so we wanted to do something to help them when we can.”
Paul Gabinet, director of the Shepherd’s Inn, said the donation comes at a welcome time in the fiscal year.
“We’ve had such a rough year, and it’s really going to help us with our operations,” he said. “March, April and May are usually the toughest times for us, so this could not have come at a better time for us.”
The Shepherd’s Inn provides shelter to victims of domestic violence and the temporary homeless. With its outreach programs, including a food pantry, legal help and other social services, the organization affected the lives of more than 300 people last year, Gabinet said.
McAmis said CHIPS posted similar numbers at its domestic violence shelter, which also provides a counseling hotline and counseling services.
“We do some of the same things, but we have some different functions as well,” she said. “For instance, our grant doesn’t allow us to house the temporary homeless, so if we have someone like that who needs help, we can send them to the Shepherd’s Inn.”