This is the first time in its 31-year history the hot line is asking for direct community support.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
VINDICATOR HEALTH WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Help Hotline Crisis Center is turning to the community for the final $100,000 needed to pay for its $500,000 expansion and consolidation project.
This is the first time in its 31-year history that Help Hotline has conducted a capital improvements campaign and asked the Mahoning Valley community for direct financial help, said Duane Piccirilli, executive director.
"Since 1971, Help Hotline has been a safety net for thousands of Mahoning Valley residents who had nowhere else to turn. Help Hotline was there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to save lives, provide shelter, assist in emergencies or just to talk and calm someone's troubled spirit. We are determined to be here another 30 years and beyond. That's why we are turning for the first time to our many friends in the Valley to help us raise $100,000," Piccirilli said.
During the past 20 years, Help Hotline has taken on more responsibilities in providing services for people with a wide variety of mental disabilities. As a result, its staff has grown so much that, in addition to its facilities and offices in the downtown crisis center, it has had to rent office space in several locations.
The modernization and expansion project includes an addition of 2,500 square feet to the headquarters building, doubling its size; a new pitched roof over the old and new portions of the building; new furniture and office equipment; and an upgraded telephone system.
Construction began in mid-July, with a target completion date of Dec. 31.
When complete, the headquarters building will accommodate all personnel who are now housed in scattered rented sites, as well as provide for future growth.
The total cost for the building expansion and modernization is $500,000. In the nonpublic phase of the capital campaign, about $400,000 was raised from individuals, corporations, foundations, trusts and the state government, leaving $100,000 to be raised in the general campaign.
"Hopefully, people will find it in their hearts to respond, particularly those whose family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors have at one time or another been helped by Help Hotline," Piccirilli said.
How to donate
Donations may be made by calling Help Hotline at (330) 747-2696. The campaign will run for six weeks or until the goal is reached.
"No gift is too small," Piccirilli said.
Help Hotline Crisis Center is a certified Ohio mental health agency and a nationally accredited suicide prevention center. Its motto is: "Helping People one person at a time."
Its 2002 budget is $1.2 million.