(WHAS11) - The only homeless shelter in a 14-county area of Southern Indiana is under new ownership after the IRS auctioned it off because of owed taxes.
David Brown, owner of Kentuckiana Roofing in Jeffersonville and Louisville, is the new owner of the Haven House. He made the first and last bid at the auction - paying the minimum amount of $7,807.66 for the property. With the purchase, he also agrees to take on the $81,000 mortgage. Barbara Anderson, the current owner, will still personally owe the $279,000 in back payroll taxes.
"Our goal is to keep it open," says Brown. "The community wants to keep it open."
He says he was only introduced to the Haven House six weeks ago when he spoke to a man living outside one of his buildings. The man lived in a cardboard box and talked about living at times inside the Haven House. That's when Brown noticed the reports about the owners having money troubles.
Within two weeks, he met with Anderson and looked at the property. He agreed to put in a bid at auction. He says he is planning to make repairs to the building, starting with a new roof. But he also plans to keep the management of the building in tact.
"The building is sound, the foundation is sound," says Kelli Orman, who works at the Haven House. "So hopefully some cosmetic work will be done and we'll be alright."
The main goal of both sides it to not displace the 60-65 people who live there on any given night.
"I think we're going to have a lot of relieved residents," says Angela Wolfe, operations coordinator for the Haven House. "Many were wondering where they were going to go. Now they don't have to worry about that."
Brown says the property isn't an investment for him -- it was just "the right thing to do."
"We want it to stay the way it is. We want it to be a homeless shelter," says Brown. "We want it to be a safe place for families."