The Laurel Shelter, which for many years provided a safe haven to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault on the Middle Peninsula, has finally closed its doors.
The house where those victims lived was recently sold, and the thrift store that provided support for the shelter and employment for its residents has closed.
Robert Earl Wilbanks Jr., treasurer of the Laurel Shelter’s board of directors, said that the board had begun to talk about closing down operations as long ago as 2015. When he joined the board two years ago, the idea was to turn around the Laurel Shelter Thrift Store, which was losing money.
Although he successfully faced that challenge, he said, when he looked at how the organization as a whole was providing services, he felt that the board, which only had three members, wasn’t able to do the job it needed to do. He reached out to other non-profits to determine the ways in which they’re structured and do business, and came to the concl...
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