Lawton children's shelter closing - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawton children's shelter closing

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -After 53 years of caring for children in Lawton, the J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter is closing its doors.

After careful consideration, the shelter's board decided after a running up an operating deficit of $122,000 during the last fiscal year, closing is only option. Once the shelter closes, the kids will be re located to a DHS facility because of state policies that don't require them to be placed in a shelter first.

The chairman of the shelter's board admitted their numbers have been declining for a while. They can hold as many as 14, but right now they only have one. Still he's concerned that overcrowding and lack of attention at DHS facilities can't compare to the atmosphere they've created for kids at J. Roy Dunning.

"To close the doors and say well that's it....it is very emotional,” said Bill Schneider, chairman of the board.

Seeing kids leave the shelter with a smile is what Schneider says his job is all about, but having to close when DHS could still use their services makes him concerned. Especially in cases where kids are removed from foster homes for various reasons, the shelter has been a safety net.

"A good number of the children that we have been seeing over the last year have been a result of the disruptions in the foster homes, so the children had no place to go, and so they would bring them to the shelter,” said Schneider.

The shelter's workers, like Tracy Brown, will soon be forced to find another job, but she says it's not herself that she's worried about.

"There is a need for a shelter in Lawton, especially for the younger children. The younger children don't always have a foster home to go to and I’m just really sad to see that we're having to close down,” said Brown.

Brown says it's rewarding watching the children leave and be in good hands, but while they're here, they truly love it.

"To see them walk in the door it's sad, but to see them leave with a smile on their face, and we've got kids that say 'I want to go back to the shelter, I love it there', so it's kind of mixed emotions right now,” said Schneider.

The shelter gets funding from the United Way, as well as donations, so the board is deciding how to disperse their remaining funds the J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter will officially close May 31.

 Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:49 AM EDT2018-07-22 06:49:56 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

  • Trump finds it 'inconceivable' lawyer would tape a client

    Trump finds it 'inconceivable' lawyer would tape a client

    Saturday, July 21 2018 9:26 AM EDT2018-07-21 13:26:09 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:49 AM EDT2018-07-22 06:49:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File). FILE - In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York.  President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer secretly recorded Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model who said she h...(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File). FILE - In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer secretly recorded Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model who said she h...

    President Donald Trump claims that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.".

    President Donald Trump claims that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.".

  • Off-duty Burger King worker steps behind counter to make own food; 2 fired

    Off-duty Burger King worker steps behind counter to make own food; 2 fired

    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:01:51 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:01:51 GMT
    The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy. (Source: WFOX/WJAX/WAWS/CNN)The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy. (Source: WFOX/WJAX/WAWS/CNN)

    The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy.

    The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy.

Powered by Frankly