Letter to the Editor

Open Arms needs help from community

Monday, November 19, 2007

To the Editor:

Greene County is blessed with some very fine non-profit organizations including some which are faith based.

One of our faith-based jewels is Open Arms Christian Ministries in Switz City. Unfortunately, Open Arms inherited the old Youth Alternatives buildings on State Road 54. They were purchased/built with USDA grant funds to be used for educational purposes. They are fine for other purposes.

The pole barn building is an Amish built structure. It has a thick concrete floor and the walls and ceiling are insulated. It is two stories high.

Open Arms has to pay maintenance and utilities for buildings they can not use. Unless the buildings are used for educational purposes the grant is violated and Open Arms can not do that because of the fire regulations. This is a terrible waste and a drain on the finances of a fine faith-based non-profit.

The buildings will deteriorate, no one will benefit and Greene County will have a very visible eyesore.

The pole barn alone, with its high ceilings, solid floor and ample insulation has multiple uses. This could be a real bargain for some Greene County business. Open Arms needs to sell the property to be able to pay back the USDA grant. They need the help of the media to get this story out.

Thank you.

Charles Dibble

Chairman of the

Open Arms Education Committee