Finding funding for Missouri’s domestic violence shelters

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Domestic Violence on Saturday, March 15, 2014.

Thankfully, there are a lot of shelters in Missouri that provide critically needed support in myriad forms to individuals — both women and men — and other family members who are victimized by domestic violence. Services range from the provision of food, shelter and crisis intervention to counseling/therapy and legal assistance.

Unfortunately, and obviously, the availability of such a vital support system is sorely compromised when funding for the shelters dries up. When that occurs, family violence can run unchecked.

That has been a marked concern of a number of shelter administrators and other victims’ advocates in Missouri recently, following notice that a recurring funding source for their facilities — the state Emergency Solutions Grant — was shutting off more than $700,000 in support. Reportedly, 15 shelters across the state are affected, including facilities in St. Louis and Kansas City

That shortfall has brought a quick response from some legislators, who, in its announced wake, called upon Governor Jay Nixon for help.

They say the governor’s administration has responded.

“As soon as they did learn about it they fixed it,” says Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia), one of the lawmakers who brought the matter to Nixon’s attention.

The remedy: to find another source of state funding, which ultimately became the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Although it’s a little blurry presently as to how much money is available and can be distributed to the many shelters needing it, legislators are working on the details and thinking long term.

That is certainly an imperative, as is accurate information generally regarding family violence and the dire repercussions it brings for both victims of domestic abuse and those who are falsely accused of it.

Missourinet, “Nixon administration moves swiftly to back domestic violence shelters after loss of grant,” Mike Lear, March 3, 2014

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