JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - The deadline is quickly approaching for a southern Indiana shelter that may have to give up its home. On March 9, Haven House in Jeffersonville is scheduled to be auctioned off. The shelter owes more than $200,000 to the IRS in payroll taxes that have not been paid over the last three years.
On Feb. 28, Indiana Avenue Christian Church held a rally at Warder Park. Pastor Drumondo Simpson said the purpose of the rally was to bring awareness.
"It will be a travesty if we were to allow the homeless to be hopeless," Simpson said.
About 100 people showed their support at the rally. Simpson said his church, with the help of the community, is searching for a new building in case Haven House closes its doors. Saying he does not believe the current building is salvageable or that Haven House will be able to pay its debt, Simpson said they are searching for monetary donations to pay for a new shelter where the homeless in Southern Indiana can turn to.
Barbara Anderson, executive director of Haven House, attended the rally and said supports the efforts of Indiana Avenue Christian.
"I said 13 years ago that we were going to do this with or without money and we have," Anderson said of her dream to help others.
But the monetary troubles caught up with the shelter. Anderson said a $74,000 mortgage looms over her head, along with $258,000 in unpaid taxes and back salaries. Anderson said she begged the city of Jeffersonville and others for money to keep Haven House running, but in the end, she blames herself for what has happened and told us she continues to search for money to pay off what the shelter owes.
"What we need to do is keep our facility up and running and then make plans for permanent, supportive housing," said Anderson.
Until then, Haven House faces an auction. The shelter has until August before the new owners take over the property.
"I'm just hoping that we can work some kind of deal out so that we keep this building right here," sid Michael Williams, a Haven House employee for the past 9 years.
"I think the best thing we can do is just sit back and just wait and see what happens with the Haven House situation," Simpson said.
Anderson said about 65 people stay at the Haven House.