MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The Bartlett House Board of Directors has sent a letter to the Monongalia County Commission asking the community for an immediate financial bailout of $300,000, or it could be forced to close their facilities on Scott Avenue and West Run within 60 days, where 81 people are currently sheltering.

Board President Nick DeMedici made the request and detailed the issues leading up to their financial troubles.

DeMedici explained that the severity of the situation wasn’t understood until recently, following the March 2024 termination of then-executive director Keri DeMasi.

The letter details a drop in funding totaling about $250,000 for 2024 due to the loss of the Housing and Urban Development Emergency Solutions Grant and funding from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties. The loss of funding he explained in all three cases was because of a lack of organizational control.

The organization has more than $250,000 in past-due payables and is in arrears on $500,000 worth of loans and a line of credit from Clear Mountain Bank. Included in those payables are $20,000 for credit cards, $88,000 for the rent at Hazels House of Hope, $20,649 to Highmark for employee health insurance, a $30,000 personal loan from an employee, $37,900 to their former auditing firm, and $10,000 to the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management.

The letter said many of the past-due balances were caused by the decision to meet payroll obligations, and currently, employees are without healthcare and have not received payments to their retirement accounts. The letter said the ability to meet the current payroll will depend on receipt of federal grant this week.

The board hoped to use proceeds from the sale of their downtown location to trim debt, but that balance will be claimed by Clear Mountain Bank due to the past-due balances on the line of credit and loan.

Due to financial constraints, the board is unable to hire the new executive director they have identified and has agreed to take the position for what DeMedici called a “modest salary.”

In addition to a bailout, the letter cites the need to become more self-sufficient and also says they are correcting the internal shortfalls.