"You cannot put a value on what she's done. We couldn't afford to pay her for all the time she's invested. She's one of a kind." —Craig Johannsen, discussing Teri McCracken's work as executive director of Madison's House of Hope domestic abuse shelter, in Elisa Sand, "House of Hope Closes After 23 Years," Madison Daily Leader, 2008.08.28.
Johannsen was half right: They evidently couldn't afford to pay McCracken any longer, although they did put a value on her work: $67,167.80.
According to the Madison House of Hope's 990 non-profit tax filing, that was the salary paid to the House of Hope's full-time executive director in 2006. Page 1, lines 10–17 of that 2006 990, offers a breakdown of how much it costs to run a domestic abuse shelter in Lake County:
|Grants and similar amounts paid|| |
|Benefits paid to or for members||--|
|Salaries, other compensation, and employee benefits||77,891|
|Professional fees and other payments to independent contractors||2,000|
|Occupancy, rent, utilities, and maintenance||3,577|
|Printing, publications, postage, and shipping||1,011|
That's a lot of money, but a domestic abuse shelter is also an important service. The House of Hope made an abrupt and seemingly unhelpful departure, ceasing its pursuit of grant support two years ago, spending down its reserves, selling its house, and announcing its closure so suddenly that there was hardly time for organziers to mount an effort to save the program.
Let's hope the new Domestic Violence Network can pick up where House of Hope left off, reconnect with those grant funding sources, and restore these services for the families that need them.