Bingo+ evicted from building; non profits suffer

Cat Haven
Cat Haven
Families Helping Families
Families Helping Families

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Some local non-profits are scrambling to find a new source of revenue after a bingo hall that generates a big chunk of money for the agencies closed suddenly.

9News learned Bingo+ is in the middle of a legal battle.

On any given day roughly 80 homeless cats rely on Cat Haven for food, shelter, and care. The community does too. Executive Director, Wendy Decker said the non-profit depends on donations, membership dues, adoption fees, and so forth to keep the operation running. But she said the $25,000 in revenue she gets from Bingo+ is the backbone of the organization.

"Without that I don't think we would have been able to expand as we have to be able to afford paid staff which we have in the last couple of years, and to have our adoption center," Decker said.

Families Helping Families, a not for profit organization which helps parents who have children with disabilities, also counts on a big cut from Bingo+ proceeds. Executive Director, Jamie Tindle, said it keeps the lights on.

"It's about $25,000 for us and that's a lot of money for our center," Tindle said.

Last week both organizations learned that revenue stream might have gone dry. They said when they showed up at Bingo+ to collect, they found a thick chain and lock on the front door.

"It was a shock, and we're just scrambling now to see how we can replace that income," Decker said.

"It was shocking. I had a board meeting that day. So, I was able to share with the board the update on that but I didn't have a lot of answers at that time," Tindle said.

Tindle and Decker said, a week later, they didn't have any solid answers.

9news contacted the owner of the property, Garry Lewis. His assistant, Helene Brown, said Bingo+ was evicted over disputes over rent.

Meantime, Decker and Tindle said they are in the process of looking for a similar operation to replace the revenue they said they lost from Bingo+.

The property owner, Lewis, has filed a complaint in city court.  A hearing is set for February 3, 2014.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.