Gesa Credit Union stepping in to help Safe Harbor, My Friends Place

Tri-City HeraldJuly 3, 2014 

Safe Harbor

July 3, 2014 -- Daisy Vargas, left, shelter supervisor, and Karen Kirk-Brockman, executive director, stand in the "hang out room" with two teens at My Friends Place.

SARAH GORDON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

Gesa Credit Union is stepping in to help the struggling Safe Harbor Support Center and its teen shelter program, My Friends Place, which are in danger of closing because of financial problems.

Gesa will match community donations up to $15,000. Donations must be made through Gesa before July 18 to qualify.

“The news that our community could lose these two programs is upsetting,” said Don Miller, Gesa president and CEO, in a news release. “Credit unions exist to help people and here at Gesa we are committed to doing what we can do to help. We invite our credit union members and the community to join us in supporting this organization.”

Donations can be made by visiting or calling any Gesa branch.

The Kennewick-based Safe Harbor provides support for children dealing with trauma, as well as outreach, support and training for families. My Friends Place is the only teen shelter in southeastern Washington and has been seeing an average of 8 to 12 youths a night.

The programs already had tight finances, and a recent loss of more than $150,000 in revenue because of changes at the state level hit them hard, leaders said earlier this week.

They're looking to raise $30,000 from the community to make it through the next few months while they work on restoring funding. A little over $4,000 in donations have been made since Wednesday through a www.gofundme.com fundraising page.

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