MORRISON – Whiteside County's child advocacy center will be moving, but not far.
April House needs to move out of its current facility to earn accreditation and qualify for more government grants. So on Tuesday the Whiteside County Board approved its move from one county-owned house to another next door.
Major improvements to the current location, at 503 N. Madison St. in Morrison, would be needed to bring it up to requirements to become accredited with the National Children's Alliance. The accreditation is needed for April House to be eligible for more government grants – namely one from the state attorney general's office which it has relied on for years.
During a walk-through of the yellow house that houses the center, it was determined that necessary fixes would include work on the 100-year-old electric wiring, fixing a large mold problem in the house's basement, and making the small bathroom ADA accessible.
Whiteside County State's Attorney Trish Joyce said Tuesday the improvements needed to the more modern house at 501 N. Madison St. would be much less expensive. The county also owns it, and has been leasing it out on a monthly basis. Its current tenants will be given 6 months to find other arrangements.
April House had until recently been facing major financial problems due to a lack of grants and a downturn in donations.
Since this summer, however, the center's financial luck has turned, thanks in large part to a $12,500 United Way grant and a private donor who sought to match it.