By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Around 1:45 a.m. on April 28, Millington Crisis Center Director Debra Sigee and Assistant Director Patricia Warner got an alert about the 8133 Wilkinsville location.
The Millington Police Department was also called from the monitoring service provided by Ritter Communication about the break in of the Crisis Center.
“The security system did its job,” Sigee said.
The intruder was locked inside and nothing was taken from the premises.
“When he opened that door,” Sigee said, “he realized, ‘Oh, I’m locked in.’ It’s the deadbolt lock. Thanks to Lowe’s we have received three storm doors. They gave us three exterior doors, those are enforced with steal.
“When I first started here, safety was the first thing on my mind,” she added. “Because I heard that the Crisis Center was broken into before. We had our doors kicked in before. If you can see how we it now, you can see another reason why we want that safety.”
Sigee took over the daily operations of the Millington Crisis Center back in February. Since then, Sigee and the staff have been busy obtaining up-to-date security materials to ensure the safety of everyone who walks through the door. Also the security measures are coming in place to protect the Crisis Center.
“If it was not for Lowe’s donating us those security doors, Ritter donating us the security system, that’s what I love about being here in Millington,” Sigee said. “The churches have also helped us out. The businesses have been very supportive.”
Lowe’s donated six doors in total and the Millington Rotary Club is providing eight new cameras that will be installed outside and inside. This will all go to boaster the security system provided by Ritter.
“The Rotary’s Taste of Millington is a good place to network,” Sigee noted. “You don’t have to be a restaurant to go there. Us being there, we were able to network with other companies, companies that sell communication equipment. I went to talk to Amy Veteto of Ritter.”
Sigee and Veteto discussed the issue of the Crisis Center’s security on April 10. Veteto saw a chance to help the Crisis Center while keeping them under budget.
“The very next day Rick was here installing our security system,” Sigee said. “That tells me that it is worth going out and meeting people. Talking to them at their booths because right after that I went out to talk to the Rotary Club. This is right before the break in.”
Sigee’s presentation to the Rotary Club hit many points like its new direction, new resources and new changes still needed to improve the Crisis Center. Then she sent an e-mail to Rotary about a direct need for cameras. Rotary stepped up to meet the need.
Sigee said she is grateful to Lowe’s, Ritter and Rotary for their generosity. She also noted the routine contributions of many churches allowing them to assist those in need.
“We hope you come through our doors humble instead of agitated or angry at us,” Sigee said. “We are not the cause of your crisis. If we can help you with your crisis, that is what we are here to do. But if we cannot help you with your crisis, we will give you the resource information of other organizations that could possibly help you.
“We can only give small amount of grants,” she added. “For a majority of the people that does help them keep their lights on or stay in their apartment for that month.”
But Sigee and staff are focusing on assisting clients in ways that will help them for more month to month.
Sigee said in the near future the Crisis Center will be home to Budget, Resume’ Writing and Interviewing workshops. The Center will also help with filling out online resume’.
“We can use updated computers,” Sigee acknowledged. “Our computers are old and the computers that we have we can use them in the area where we have or workshops or for people who are coming in looking for jobs.
“We have people coming in looking for jobs,” she continued. “They don’t come in seeking help with their rent. They com in for this job list right here. We get a job list every week mailed to us. You will see all types of job. One woman who was laid off, she came in needing help. I told her about the job list. She called one of them on there and got a job for $11 an hour.”
The Crisis Center staff wants more success stories similar to that woman. Sigee said it will take the help of the community like Chick-fil-A providing cards for free sandwiches, Mr. Charles from First Baptist Church doing repairs and the trio that got the security system updated.
“If they donate their skill to fix up things here, all you have to do is tell us how much it cost,” Sigee concluded. “It’s a donation. We can write it out on a letterhead or a recipe. We make notes of anything, anybody does here for the Crisis Center.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.