Victim's Services Agencies In Low Country Concern About Loss Of - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Victim's Services Agencies In Low Country Concern About Loss Of Federal Funding

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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. -

Some agencies who work with the child abuse and domestic violence victims in the Low country are concerned tonight. They've been informed by the state of South Carolina that federal grants they count on have been held up in Washington and they'll lose that funding at the end of the month. Local victim's services agencies in south Carolina got word this week that federal funds they count on are being held up. Susan Cato of the Child Abuse Prevention Association explains, "We pinch every penny to do with what we have - but this is a huge percentage of each one of our budgets, or our treatment budgets."

The funding is part of the Federal Victims of Crime Act - and comes from fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders - not tax dollars. The state agency that funnels those funds to local agencies notified them that the states haven't been able to apply for the funds this year...though they haven't been given a reason. Shauw Chin Capps, Executive Director of Hope Haven of the Low Country says, "There's no indication of when they'll be able to apply for the funding from the feds - so that really puts all the organizations in a bind."

The Directors of the Child Abuse Prevention Association, Hope Haven of the Low Country and Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse gathered today at the C.A.P.A. shelter to talk about the impact to those they serve. Capps says, "Victim services happen every day and we depend on the monthly reimbursement for the direct services that we provide." Services like counseling, case management and shelter advocates. The three agencies estimate they've served a combined nearly 400 adult and child victims of abuse since the beginning of the year using those federal funds ...and they don't want to have to start turning people away. "We do have some funding that you know - we'll be able to fall back on for situations like this - but if it's ongoing - if it's not resolved soon - yes - we'll have to look at eliminating or cutting back services and programs to victims," says Kristin Dubrowski of Citizens Opposed To Domestic Abuse.

News 3 contacted directors of several victim's services agencies in Savannah and found they'd not been notified of a problem here yet. We also placed a call to the U.S. Department of Justice to try to get some answers. As of late this afternoon - they had not gotten back to us.

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