By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
Services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Clinton and Jackson counties will be maintained through fiscal year 2014, the Clinton YWCA Board of Directors has decided.
According to YWCA Executive Director Lori Freudenberg, the board unanimously approved a measure to maintain services through next fiscal year because of the positive response from the community to keep the programs going.
“We are humbled by the outcry of support we have received from community members,” Freudenberg said.
Due to a regionalization plan outlined by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, the YWCA faces a $256,000 state funding loss for victim services, which represents 80 percent of its budget for the services.
Because of other funds the YWCA has received to fund the services, the budget shortfall is projected to be $100,000. YWCA officials are working to secure funds to make up for this shortfall from all the cities in Clinton and Jackson counties as well as churches and residents. While they are still in need of donations, the support so far has shown the board that the community recognizes the need for the services.
“Our board is confident we will raise the funds needed to offer services through fiscal year 2014, and we’re hopeful for the future sustenance of these programs,” Freudenberg said. “Community members have been wonderful in showing their generosity and supporting us as we face this new challenge together.”
Under the regionalization plan, Clinton is part of a 14-county region that also includes Davenport, Iowa City, Burlington, Muscatine and Keokuk. In each of these regions, the state will fund one or two emergency shelter programs, one or two comprehensive domestic violence programs, and/or two comprehensive sexual assault programs that will need to serve victims from the entire region.
The YWCA has been working with other agencies within the region to navigate the changes, but will not be notified until June what agencies will receive the programs.
More than 800 people in Clinton and Jackson counties seek domestic violence and sexual assault services from the YWCA each year.