By CHRIS WOOD
For the Logan Banner
LOGAN - After nearly a two-and-a-half year run, the Under the Bridge Community Outreach Center is closing its doors both to the homeless as well as to the community at large as lack of funds and volunteer help took a toll on the shelter's operators.
"There's been a lot of factors that just played into it," said Brandi Curry, director of Under the Bridge. "Just us being here 24/7." Without the help they need, Curry and her husband Charles, a shelter board member, spent the majority of their time at the center, so they now feel it is time for her and her family to take a break.
Since it opened in November 2016, Under the Bridge has assisted more than 200 people, including some from as far away as Ohio, South Carolina and North Carolina. It is located at 118 Stratton St. in downtown Logan.
There are no plans to reopen it, Brandi Curry said. However, she does not rule out any possibilities.
"In the future, if things are different, I would always consider it. But not at this point," she said.
So what are the immediate plans for Brandi and Charles Curry?
"I'm thinking seriously about opening up businesses in Logan for our youth," said Charles Curry. "I'd like to get involved in some mentoring of our youth that are possibly with their grandparents or just don't have great homes with money. You give them things to do other than drugs and the bad things out there. That's my goal."
For example, he said he would like to open a game room for kids - "a place for them to hang out at after school to meet and gather with their peers, enjoy life, and stay off the streets and stay out of meanness.
"We have so many young kids around here, good kids, who may come from homes, don't have a father or mother taking care of them or grandparents taking care of them, and they're good kids. They just don't have anything to do. They don't have a lot of funding to do things."
Charles Curry would also like to help today's youth grow up to be goal-oriented, responsible adults. He claims that today's youth lacks direction.
"I would like to possibly get involved in that," he said. "We do some AAU coaching on the side, and we've got to know a lot of the kids in the area. Just great kids. And there's not a whole lot here. There's not a huge future. We've sat down with a lot of the kids in the area, and we've talked to them and tried to find out their future, give them goals. I'd like to see some of them go to college and graduate and be successful businessmen. We're lacking that in this area, and I'd love to see it grow."
He is even thinking about purchasing a building that will house these activities. "If I could find a building suitable to do that, I would probably jump on it," he said.
For now, the Currys' plan is to take a much-needed break. "We've got to take a break," said Charles Curry. "We've got to take us some family time because I think we need it, and our kid needs it. Brandi's been great thus far. She's been a trouper. She never complains. But I just feel like we need to spend some family time, truly."
Under the Bridge will close its doors on Monday, April 15. If you like to contribute some last-minute donations or would like to get involved in Charles Curry's ideas for Logan's future, call 304-687-7196. "Until then, we're working on getting everybody housed," said Brandi Curry, "and get everything cleared out."