The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma is now over half a million dollars closer to building a new 6,000-square-foot shelter. This comes after receiving a $520,000 grant from the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation earlier this month.
Kathy Manning, executive director of the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma, said the organization is extremely thankful for the grant.
“We are grateful to the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation,” Manning said. “They heard our plea and they responded with great generosity to our request.”
The grant is currently the largest single contribution to the Family Shelter’s Shelter in Place Capital Campaign. The campaign began February 1 with the goal of raising $1 million to build a new shelter facility.
Mary Kate Wilson, president of the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation, provided a brief history of the foundation and the work they do. They are a private, nonprofit foundation endowed after Mercy Hospital purchased the former Memorial Hospital.
“The community leaders wanted the proceeds to benefit the area,” Wilson said. “They were gifted to the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation and we consistently support area organizations more than 20 years later.”
Wilson said the foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations located within a 50-mile radius of Ardmore because it was considered to be the service area of Memorial Hospital. When a nonprofit submits a grant application, an independent board makes the decision about how they distribute their funds.
Wilson said the Family Shelter and the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation have worked together on other projects in the past.
“The trustees believe in the mission of what they are doing to help the victims of domestic violence and their children,” Wilson said. “It is directly related to our mission of supporting health-related projects because of the behavioral health services they provide.”
Manning said the Family Shelter will soon begin construction on the new facility.
“Thank you so much to the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation for their support and dedication to our community,” Manning said. “As a result, we are now ready to begin construction on a new shelter facility that increases our capacity to provide victims with a safe, temporary place to live and the support services needed to help them heal and overcome the devastating effects of domestic violence and sexual assault.”
Manning said the Shelter in Place Capital Campaign is ongoing and has giving opportunities on many different levels. Donations can be made online at www.familyshelterofsoutherok.net or at their administrative office at 402 Pawnee Street NW.