SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Citing several years of revenue loss and a need to reorganize, The Springfield Family Center announced its plan this weekend to hire a new director by the fall.
On Saturday, Aug. 3, the Family Center Board released a statement on its Facebook page to notify the area community about the center’s short-and long-term-plans to address the center’s past financial problems, including an operating loss of $10,000 for the past two years.
“We are very sorry for any worry or concern you may or may not have experienced recently regarding the stability and future of the Family Center,” the statement read, which did not have an author’s name attributed to it, but indicates it was a joint statement from the board. “The Springfield Family Center Board would like to inform you of some of the details behind the recent changes at the Family Center. “
Formed in 1971, the Family Center is a community organization that provides essential assistance to people and families through food and shelter programs. The center’s primary services include a food shelf, daily free lunch program and day shelter, which provides an indoor daytime space to people in need, as well as showers and laundry machines.
According to the letter, the board determined at its July 18 meeting that the center needed to let go of its paid staff and rely on volunteers, board members and partnering groups to continue operations for the present. It states that the decision was difficult, but that the board aims to hire part-time staff to support and supervise the volunteers, who would remain the core of the center’s workforce.
Former board member James Harris currently serves as the center’s interim director as the board continues the process to hire a permanent director. Before serving on the board, Harris worked in the kitchen and shelter program for St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d’Arlene, Idaho.
“Change was needed to move toward becoming a more organized and accountable organization,” the letter stated. “The interview process for a new Director is going well and we plan to have a new director in place this fall.”
The board said that they have completed phone interviews with directorship applicants and are currently scheduling in-person interviews with the remaining candidates. The interviewing panel will comprise members of the search committee and representatives from partnering agencies in the Springfield community.
“We continue to passionately believe in the mission of the Family Center to Provide help and instill hope for the impoverished and under-resourced in the community of Springfield,” the letter said in closing. “Your continued support is needed as it always has been. We greatly appreciate and rely on donations and volunteer support that you provide to meet the needs of our community.”