May 22, 2017-In an editorial on Sunday, the Times launched an attack on a request for funding by The Caring Place, a shelter for victims of Domestic Violence. Reaction on social media was swift, but the Times removed comments as quickly as they were put up. In the editorial, The Times Editorial Board which includes Chris White who is CEO of One Region and a Board Member of Lake Area United Way, states “it’s the bastion of private donations, not public coffers, to further the missions of private, nonprofit entities.” According to IRS documents, One Region obtains 99% of its funding from governmental sources. Lake Area Unite Way is also the the recipient of numerous government grants including one from the City of Hammond in the amount of $600,000 recently.
The Caring Place staff responded to the controversy on social meda as follows:
As a non-profit organization and a member of ICADV, The Indiana Coalition against domestic violence, The Caring Place strives to support any victim of violence in our county. We are not a private entity, as was incorrectly reported by The Times Editorial Board’s article this morning, but rather a small organization of dedicated staff members and volunteers who work hard to support the emergency needs of victims of physical and sexual violence faced by members of our community.
We wish to highlight that the implication of political impropriety is unfounded and unwarranted. The fact that two of our most ardent supporters, Dave and Debbi Reynolds happen to be married is not indicative of any collusion, but rather that two individuals happen to share a mutual level of respect for the need for care and housing of one of the most vulnerable populations in Porter County. To imply otherwise is an egregious attempt to find corruption where none exists. It is worthwhile to point out, that similar impropriety could be found in the recent political and financial gamesmanship that enabled the Porter County Animal Shelter to be granted more than $2 million in County funds as a pet project of a certain County Commissioner. Furthermore Porter County Council member Dan Whitten did not help to found The Caring Place in 1978, as incorrectly reported by The Times Editorial Board, as he would have been 12 years old at that time. Domestic violence is by no means a “private concern” and The Times Editorial Board’s flippant statement as such only furthers our resolve to act in the best interest of the clients and community we serve.