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Domestic violence services impacted by government shutdown

Posted: 5:41 PM, Jan 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-07 19:57:26-05

With the government shutdown entering its third week some shelters for domestic violence victims are not receiving federal funds.

“It is absolutely affecting people and some really crucial residents in the community,” Nicole Lopez of Faith House said.

Shelters like Faith House rely on government funding to keep the doors open.

With no end in sight for the government shutdown, the shelter could look into other ways to fund services for domestic violence victims.

“A lot of our employees are paid out of grants,” Lopez said. “We would have to reach into cash reserves, credit or whatever the case may be to make sure that people’s salaries are paid, lights on and the rent is paid.”

She added,” Thankfully we are in a good place, but if it (government shutdown) lasts for a long time it’s really hard to tell. So we just have to make sure we juggle properly.”

Most shelters like Faith House pay their staff, rent and expenses out of pocket and are re-paid with federal funds. However, with the government shutdown that’s not happening right now.

“That is one big concern for us and the community is that the federal funds are not getting reimbursed right now at all and not in a timely manner,” Lopez said.

Federal funds from the Violence Against Women Act are tied to the larger spending bills that are stalled on capitol hill.

Faith House hopes congress members restore the funding sooner rather than later.

“I would hate for us to close before we have to,” Lope said. “We always say we want to work ourselves out of a job, but we want to lose that job because we’ve taken care of everything, not because we can’t get the funds.”