Angels in the basement: Bowling Green’s Welfare Center

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – “Like I told you earlier, I’ve had people in that chair crying, saying they didn’t know what they were going to do,” said the welfare center executive director, Bonnie Robbins.

If you didn’t know about it, it’s tucked away in the basement of Bowling Green’s old courthouse. It’s a small room with just 2 actual employees and overseen by a board of volunteers just wanting to help folks out.

Back in February of 1923, 3 residents of Warren County took notice of those in the area who were less than fortunate and decided to make a difference in the community. They did things like help with lumber and coal back in the day, and as things got more modern so did their help.

Bowling Green and Warren County’s first hospital was founded in 1926, and they would eventually go on to help with medical expenses for some people. Fast forward now to 2023, the welfare center is 100 years old and they will celebrate next month with a reception in fiscal court.

News 40 was told that a lot of help comes from the welfare center that we as the public would never know, and we’re told it’s been a great blessing to many families who have come for help. The welfare center is in a unique position being that it’s locally funded, there are actually allocated funds from the city and county to fund the center’s budget.

Because of this, the center does not possess the same kind of red tape as federally funded organizations. It’s not a fix for everything, but if you really are caught between a rock and a hard place such as your car suddenly breaking down or maybe a water main completely bursts.

Those who work with the such as Dana Beasley-Brown, a city commission and youth services coordinator and Bowling Green Junior High speak highly of the center, experiencing firsthand how they have at times literally kept families off the streets.

The welfare center is a nonprofit who mostly operates off city and county funds but they are also happy  and grateful to take donations. You can contact the center at 270-843-5340.