Plano women's shelter faces financial crisis



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Posted on June 2, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 3 at 11:15 AM

PLANO — The only domestic violence shelter in Collin County is now experiencing an emergency of its own.

Hope's Door is currently not accepting new clients after discovering a plumbing leak ruined all of its flooring and subflooring, said Pat Tosi, the shelter’s CEO.

Contractors have told her that it will take as much as $25,000 to repair.

“We don’t have $25,000 just sitting around,” Tosi said. “$25,000 is a lot of money for us.”

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Last year, 428 women and children called the shelter home.‎ Twenty women and children are currently staying in the house.

“There’s tremendous need,” Tosi said. “We operate at capacity 90 percent of the time. We're at capacity now, and we can't be bringing anyone else in until this is rectified.”

Officials discovered the problems last week when staff members noticed the flooring in the kitchen felt “spongy.” They pulled back the linoleum and saw that the subflooring was wet.‎

“We called in the plumbers and some contractors got underneath and we've discovered that our wood subflooring is all rotted,” she said.

One of the shelter’s five bedrooms had to be shut down. The family staying in that room had to be moved elsewhere.

For now, a huge dehumidifier set up in that bedroom is blowing air under the house to try to dry it out.‎

Contractors say ‎the repairs themselves could take several weeks.‎ “We're hoping that we can find the money quickly,” Tosi said.‎

In the kitchen, a large swatch of the linoleum has been removed. The wooden subflooring is wet, unstable, and rotting. ‎‎‎

“You can see that it’s a health and safety hazard,” Tosi said, adding that the children staying in the house now have to be stopped from running through the kitchen.

Just since last week, nearly 50 calls have come in from women seeking shelter. Hope's Door has been forced to send them elsewhere. Tosi said it could be months until the shelter will be able to start accepting new clients.‎

“We’re doing our best to find shelter for everyone,” Tosi said. “This is a safe haven for the women and children who come to us in emergency situations. They're fleeing from dangerous situations, so they often come with nothing. Many times, they come with just the clothes on their backs.”