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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 6, 1973)
Funding woes to shut down Open Door?
By Lori Demo
It's a small house. Just like any other house on
the 1900 block of U St. A slightly unkept lawn. A
cyclone fence around the yard. A stray doq
And the people inside are nice. They try to
help persons who have problems. But they also
have their own problem. They may not be able to
help much longer. They are running out of money.
A sign outside the house says this is Lincoln's
Open Door Health Center. But the contci's five
month history of helping may end soon. By Oct.
30, its funds will be depleted.
The center started April 1 with a three-month,
$5,000 grant from the Nebraska Regional Medical
"This money ran out June 30," LaDonna
Black, one of the two pair) workers at the center
said. "We received an additional $2,000 from the
March of Dimes, but as of Oct. 30 we will be out
of money. We put in a bid for money from the
city revenue sharing funds. We haven't heard on
that yet, but most of the yes's have been handed
out and we haven't received one."
The staff at the small house consists of two
paid workers, nine VISTA members, and other
The services include helping people find
housing and providing mental health, medical,
legal and welfare counseling.
Right now the center is trying to duplicate a
service they performed last year when they
provided free physical examinations to children
attending four of Lincoln's grade schools.
Sandy Springer, another volunteer at the
center said that these children otherwise would
not ha been able to have physicals.
"This year the doctors who volunteered and
did it for free last year won't do it again because
they received too much pressure from the other
. ' -
The Open Door (Health Center) at 1915
U rm' bo locked soon.
doctors. So we. are having trouble finding
The doors at the Center are open from 8 a.m.
until midnight. Telephone calls are taken by a
volunteer at this time and by an answering service
Black said that if the person needing the
medical aid is not on welfare and cannot afford
the services, the center will arrange for them to
pay their bill on a time payment plan.
For those seeking advice, the center brings in
lawyers and psychiatrists on a weekly basis.
"We have a worry clinic where one or two
psychiatrists come to listen to people who have
some problems along with a legal aid clinic where
anyone with a legal question or problem can come
and consult the lawyers," Black said.
Charita Richardson, director of the center and
the other paid worker, said that a welfare team
consisting of a social worker or case worker comes
"When the team is here anyone can come and
apply for welfare and find out how much they can
get or ask any problem relating to welfare," she
In the last five months, the people in the little
house have handled 2,372 services including 558
for transportation, 369 for health and dental
problems, and 872 for medical appointments.
After October 30, the counseling may cease.
The door at 1915 U may be locked. The telephone
But the people in the community, along with
their problems, will remain.
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