HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) - First Stop, Inc. has no shortage of food, clothing, and things for their clients. This summer, what they really need is money.
"We provide a lot of services our grant money simply does not cover," explains Executive Director Clete Wetli.
The organization pays out nearly $1,000 on utilities every month.
"Huntsville Utilities called asking if we had a water leak, but we didn't! It's because so many people get showers here when they can`t get showers somewhere else, they do their laundry here," said Wetli.
The utility bill is just a portion of a monthly operations budget that amounts to tens of thousands of dollars. They provide transportation for their clients to get to job interviews and medical appointments. First Stop also provides case managers to help clients transition out of homelessness.
"Homelessness is not a one-size fits all problem and it requires individualized solutions and that's what case managers do," Wetli explained.
He says unfortunately, the organization cannot afford enough case managers. Last week he had to let two of his four employees go.
While Wetli actively applies for grants, they won't cover all of their operating costs. As the holiday-season donation boom dies down, he`s asking the community to consider giving, not just once, but monthly.
"Whether it's a $20 donation or $100 monthly, that helps and allows us to hire more staff and project out into the future."
Wetli says these monthly donations help them get through the monetarily dry summer months, and help them predict their budget month to month.