Butler Homeless Initiative (BHI) began in 2006 with a handful of concerned citizens with the needs of the homeless and how they could help as their driving force.
With Krystal Wallace, then president of Mothers against Meth (MAMA), as the lead in gathering the group, she shared her encounters with persons who were homeless. With a goal to provide shelter and end homelessness the group prepared and submitted articles of incorporation and tax exempt paperwork to make the work of BHI official by the end of 2007.
On Jan. 10, 2013, Wallace finished her second term as president and handed the reins to Melody Gault who was elected as president to serve a three-year term.
Wallace guided the BHI team though a list of accomplishments including; as previously mentioned, becoming incorporated with the State of Kansas and the filing of tax exempt documents making BHI an official non-profit organization. Board members worked tirelessly over the last six years building community awareness about the homeless in El Dorado and Butler County and raising funds to eventually open a homeless transitional home.
Grant applications to both the El Dorado Charities Auxiliary and United Way of El Dorado were submitted and awarded. BHI board members, also, organized a Harlem Ambassadors Event in March 2012 and were instrumental in bringing the Annual Kansas Statewide Homeless Summit to El Dorado in April 2012.
BHI members participated in the El Dorado Homeless Task Force, which has provided a transitional housing definition to be submitted to the El Dorado City Commission for vote.
While the accomplishments of Wallace and the entire BHI board will be hard to match, Gault and her team are ready for the challenge.
The new BHI board thanked the following for their dedication and support of the homeless: Wallace; Trisha Menadue, vice president; Macy Gaines, secretary; Marilyn Hall, treasurer; and Gault, Ron Eisenbise, Judy Scribbner, Yvonne Yee and Pastor Bill O’Connell, trustees.
They also welcomed the following as they begin their terms: Gault; Gaines, vice president; Nita Witeman, secretary; Marry Morris, treasurer; and Yee, Candida Wise and O’Connell, trustees.