MAHONING TWP. — Green Thumb Industries presented $5,000 to The Gate House shelter for the homeless.
Green Thumb Industries general manager Chris Darling and human relations manager Alex Milner made the presentation.
Gate House Executive Director Tom Dougher, program director Cindy Powers, case manager Krunal Thakore, facilities adviser Kerry Dennis and intern Stacia Whitmoyer accepted the oversize check for the donation.
"We certainly appreciate the community support," Dougher said. This is the third installment of a five-year commitment by the Danville medical marijuana producer to give $5,000 each year. He said the funds will be used for general operations of the facility.
He said Green Thumb employees have volunteered at the shelter, which has included upgrading the playground and assisting at the annual golf tournament, which benefits the Gate House.
"We're super happy to help," Darling said.
Currently, they have 21 people staying at the shelter including 10 children ages 2 to 16.
As of Oct. 31, the shelter has served 115 people this year. Last year, the facility served 112 people.
Dougher said they have been able to serve more people because the average length of their stay has decreased from 77 nights in 2018 to 47 nights this year.
He said this has resulted from the center developing a pool of landlords willing to work with it. For example, a mother and five children will move Tuesday to an apartment from among the Gate House's list of landlords, he said. That family arrived at the Gate House on Oct. 15.
Dougher has served as executive director since 2011 and said they have expanded services to people staying there, including placing people in apartments and homes; assisting with moving; following up with former residents; helping residents advance their education; and assisting them in finding jobs and acquiring vehicles. The Gate House was founded in 1997.