Connect with us

North Dakota

Project Bee reopens following an unexpected closure



Minot, North Dakota – Nearly two weeks have passed since Project Bee in Minot abruptly shuttered, but in a nice New Year’s Day surprise, staff members there have announced that they will be reopening on a limited basis.

Present Board President Tarina Crook has declared that the group is prepared to accept guests to spend the night at their warming center while Project Bee’s former Director is being looked into for potential financial mismanagement.

“We are very excited we get to open our doors again,” Crook states, “and welcome them back home. We are expecting potentially, I would say around 20 people, just to come in tonight. We have bunkbeds throughout the shelter.”

Many in the area were shocked when the shelter, which is situated along 3rd Street Southeast in Minot, abruptly shuttered just before Christmas. Although many people were worried about what would happen to Project Bee’s finances, Crook says it doesn’t seem the group is in serious financial trouble.

“We don’t have anything that is off limits to us right now,” she explains. “There are maybe some rumors that there were accounts that were frozen or things like that, and those aren’t true. We have access fully to all of our accounts that we have always had.”

According to Crook, Insperitus is contributing a matching $25,000 to their “twice-blessed” campaign, and Project Bee also has a $14,000 endowment that may be given out. Despite the building being closed, they continue to get money since Oishii Ramen and the Lord’s Cupboard pay them rent for the shared area in the building. They will take great care in handling this incoming cash.

In addition, Crook and Project Bee have declared that they will work with BCI officials to address the conduct of former Executive Director Liz Larsen.

“I am going to be giving him whatever documents they may need,” Crook notes. “Full-on transparency is what we are all about. When it comes to Liz, we have not heard from her, and we don’t know where she is at — but she is no longer with Project Bee at this time.”

Although the exact amount of money that may be missing from Project Bee’s accounts is now unknown, Crook adds that welcoming back those in need in Minot is the first step toward making things right.

“We are trying to regain trust,” she continues. “This is a time for rebuilding and restoration. It is said that the community feels as if a continued relationship with Project Bee pivots on the mistakes of one person. We are trying to do better, and be better as an organization. We can’t fix what we don’t know, and we can’t fix problems we don’t know are problems. Now we know what our problems were, and we can fix them and move forward.”

Crook says she is merely pleading with neighbors for patience and tolerance at this time, but she anticipates answering more inquiries about the group in the coming months.

While many of their employees have already been recruited back, Crook acknowledges that some were let go when Project Bee shuttered before Christmas.

The diaper pantry at Project Bee will reopen tomorrow morning.