NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Mission will no longer have to close its doors for the summer, according to officials with the shelter, but four of the leaders will be stepping down.
New Orleans Mission Executive Director Ron Gonzales, his wife Linda, Director of Operations James Gonzales and Director of Maintenance Shawn Meadows will all resign, Linda Gonzalez confirmed Thursday night.
Linda Gonzalez said the city brought in two new directors Thursday. She said the new director told the homeless at the shelter that the Mission will stay open and will not close Saturday like planned.
New Orleans Mission Board Pres Bennett Powell confirmed that the new director of the Mission is David Bottner. He said a local donor offered $30,000 to keep mission open if someone matches that, and he thinks the city will match it.
The city is asking Linda and Ron Gonzalez to stay on in transition to train the incoming new directors.
"We're going to stay on and help as much as we can,” Linda Gonzalez said. "I guess there's a time and place for everything and this is probably the time to do this. Whatever is gonna be best for the Mission, that's what we're about."
Linda Gonzalez said she was never given an indication that the city was unhappy with their work and the board was always pleased. She also said the city gave her no reason why the Mission didn't receive funding this year.
However, Director of Neighborhood Services and Facilities Stacy Horn-Koch said the Mission lost out on limited HUD funding in a competitive process among other area shelters.
"Based on the money that I had available and we had available at that time, the cut off was above the Mission's score," she said.
Ron Gonzales said earlier this week the reason for the closure was financial troubles. He said the Mission has only $3,000 in the bank, not enough for the $50,000 to $60,000 it cost to run the Mission each month.