Just $365 will support an abused woman in a shelter for one month.
Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc., is facing a severe financial shortfall and needs $30,000 to by July’s end in order to meet its obligations and maintain its services, said Connie Sloan, Executive Director.
“If we don’t raise the money something’s going to fall through the crack. We can’t contemplate not raising the money. We have to,” she said.
Grants have already been written for the upcoming 14-15 fiscal year and the organization is hopeful its financial situation will improve. But Sloan said it is necessary – right now – to raise $30,000 in order to complete this fiscal year.
“Our need is critical. Domestic Violence Prevention is asking those who are able to provide the funds that will allow us to maintain shelter and non-residential services to the nearly 700 victims a year who process through our system. We need our community to support us at this time. We have been offering services since 1980 and hope to continue.”
Currently, the shelter, named Gayle’s Safe Haven, is temporarily housing seven adults and four children, three of whom are school-age and one who is a toddler, Sloan said.
But the faces of those abused changes constantly, right along with the shelter census.
“Two weeks ago there were nine adults and 11 children. Whatever the age or number or residents, we have to keep the lights on; the air conditioning running; have food available; maintain a children’s program; case management; transportation; a security system. In short, whatever it takes to keep your home comfortable and habitable for your family size – we have to maintain that 24/7 at the shelter,” Sloan explained.
“Additionally,” she added, “someone has to man the office all night long, answer the hotline and be there for an intake or just to make available some Tylenol for a mother’s child or more milk for a bottle. Unfortunately all of those things cost money. It’s the unexpected that hurts, an air conditioning unit going out, a roof that leaks. The unexpected extras keep pushing up those costs.”
Just as upkeep for a home is expensive, so, too, is the upkeep for a battered women’s shelter. But imagine that you housed about 10 or more people a month who come and go.
“The cost, just to maintain the shelter with all its services, is approximately $7,000 per month. That is an annual cost of $84,000. Broken down to individually-provided services based on our normal census, is a cost of $11.87 per individual daily,” Sloan said.
Though most residents don’t remain in the shelter that long, they are quickly replaced.
Last month when a resident vacated to create an open bed it was only available for 10 minutes before another client entered the shelter. Money is desperately needed, Sloan said.
“Your contribution can make a difference in our being able to serve the community in the future. As most are aware, government funding for social services has been drastically reduced over the past few years. Federal funding has dwindled and as a result state funding is restricted. Last year the state of Arkansas reduced social service funding across the board by 18 percent, cutting deeply into grant funds available for domestic violence and sexual assault services. It has been announced that Arkansas granting sources will not be opening for requests for additional funding this year. The funds in Texas have also been reduced limiting the number of grants awarded. With the downturn in the economic situation, local contributions have also suffered.”
DVP’S fundraising committee initiated an appeal packet that was sent to numerous people in town who might be able to assist. A fundraising event is planned but unfortunately that is a long-time process and will not work for this effort, Sloan explained.
In other words, the organization needs money immediately. To donate, go to http://www.gofundme.com/dvptxk. Contact Sloan at (903) 794-4000 or send charitable donations to 424 Spruce Street, Texarkana, TX 75501.