Government shutdown impacts domestic violence shelters

Shutdown impacts domestic violence shelters

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some Mid-South domestic violence shelters could see an impact if the government shutdown continues.

Tennessee ranks fifth in the nation for states with the highest number of women murdered by men.

Domestic violence shelters do all that they can to provide resources for those in need.

Marquipta Odom, Interim executive director with the YWCA of Greater Memphis said that could be more difficult with the partial government shutdown.

"How does it look? I'm not sure how it would actually look at this time where it could maybe be reduced hours, it could be furlough of some of the staff, and unfortunately the greatest impact it would have if we have to stop is close the shelter down," said Odom.

Many domestic violence shelters depend on funding through the U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees the distribution of grant money. The government shutdown now puts funding at risk.

Both the YWCA and Family Safety Center said about 60 percent of their funding comes from the federal government.

“Right now we won’t turn anyone away, we want you to come and get the services that we provide here, but our shelter services ARE funded through the federal government,” said Family Safety Center Housing Manager Priscilla Blackmon.

The Department of Justice said critical funding would remain until March 1.

However, Shelter advocates said they are planning ahead with things like fundraising just in case the shutdown lasts longer.

"Our board, they're working on some strategic things also at this moment, just to make sure that we have that safety net as we restructure and we have been rebuilding here at the YWCA," said Odom.

Both organizations said they receive outside funding from private donors that help keep shelves stocked.

Despite the unknown, they are remaining hopeful.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.