Christie Scanlin DobsonChristie Scanlin Dobson, the new Director of Ballard Center, spoke about the center and her new responsibilities.  The Ballard Center has performed a mission of service in Douglas County since 1964 for individuals and families in need of emergency assistance.

The Ballard Center is a nonprofit located in North Lawrence in a 100 year old brick building.  It is governed by a volunteer board of community members.  The responsibility for Penn House and its programs was added in 2005. The combined program of services offered includes emergency assistance with food, clothing, rent, employment, diapers, senior commodities, school kits and income tax.  Case managers work with individuals and families to become self-sufficient.  An educational program is provided for some 58 lively 1-5 year-olds.  This program also supports employment opportunities for parents and operates on a sliding fee scale.  There is also a substantial waiting list.  Over 8,000 people in need receive unduplicated Services from Ballard each year.  Christie Scanlin Dobson explained that the actual need is twice the number they are able to serve.

Unfortunately, the center is facing a major funding crisis and it is not clear how their programs will be impacted.  Ballard Center welcomes visitors and contact information is available on the web site at