Groundfish Industry Donates to Brother Francis Shelter

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Most nonprofits run off grants and donations, and one vital service recently got a boost from the groundfish industry in Kodiak.

Julie Bonney owns Alaska Groundfish Databank and says the groundfish community held a parade and festival in June down at the spit. She says the fishery decided to donate some of the proceeds to Brother Francis Shelter, which provides meals and beds to the transient population and furthermore runs a homelessness prevention program for the community.

“We had a photo booth where you could go and do crazy pictures and pay $5, so any of the proceeds from that was donated, along with a pie throw. So, you got to throw a pie and bid – the opportunity to smash a pie in [the face of someone who’s] in the fish world politically. And, overall, the total amount that we raised was over $17,000.”

The highest bid to hit someone in the face with pie was $2500 dollars and North Pacific Fishery Management Council member Duncan Fields was the willing victim.

Monte Hawver, executive director of the Brother Francis Shelter, says the donation came at just the right time.

“None of my grants had come through. We have had one come through out of six. And so, $17,000 in a community the size of ours is a very sizeable donation and will go a long ways towards feeding and sheltering the homeless and poor, and that’s basically what it’ll be used for is funds to buy food, to shelter, feed families, things like that.”

He says the shelter’s annual budget is about $450,000.

“We’re hoping that more people will step up, because it’s going to get worse before it gets better funding-wise. We know that Alaska’s struggling, and every year here for the foreseeable future there’s gonna be less and less resources available funding-wise for the nonprofits, which means that if we’re going to continue operations as we have in the past, there’ll be more money needed from the private sector.”

Brother Francis Shelter was one of the nonprofits to speak before the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly at its work session Thursday to ask for borough funding.

Hawver says the shelter receives funds from many different sources, including government bodies like the borough and both current and former Kodiak residents.

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