The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

November 1, 2012

CLARK: What does regional consolidation mean for us?

CLINTON — We at the YWCA are concerned that – at a time when victims have suffered with domestic abuse, sexual assault or other violent crimes – their lives aren’t made more difficult at a time when they need help.

What is happening?

Government funding has been reduced – at both a federal and state level – for services to victims of crime.  Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is proposing a reorganization that will change the way domestic violence and sexual assault services are funded and delivered throughout the state of Iowa.

Simply put, the state is planning to create six regions.  Funds will be distributed to each region.  Service providers in each region – including the YWCA Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault Resource Center of Clinton and Jackson counties – are being asked to develop regional service plans based on a funding formula that will include four comprehensive service contracts for each region.

The service contracts include: Shelter-based services; domestic-abuse comprehensive services; sexual-abuse comprehensive services; and culturally specific services.

We are still uncertain as to how this will play out.  Services will still be provided, but possibly at a reduced level. How much has funding declined? According to the Attorney General’s office, federal funding for Iowa’s crime victim assistance programs has declined by 18 percent – or nearly $1.5 million – over the past three fiscal years. State funding has dropped by seven percent – or nearly $214,000 – over the same time period.

Does this mean shelters will close and services will no longer be provided?

Some shelters have already closed around the state and some service providers have closed their doors.

The YWCA serves Clinton and Jackson counties and has been awarded a contract by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office to provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse  through June 2013.  Our advocates are certified through the Iowa Coalition against Domestic Violence and the Iowa Coalition of Sexual Abuse.  All services are free and confidential.  Our program will continue to serve these communities by providing shelter, court and medical advocacy, options counseling, transportation, prevention education, information and referral, and transitional housing.    

The YWCA is the only certified victim service provider in these two counties.  These vital services have been a part of the YWCA of Clinton mission since 1978.

The YWCA of Clinton and the board of directors are strongly committed to considering all options, funding sources, and opportunities for fiscal year 2013-2014.  We are actively listening to our Coalitions against Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault Response Teams, community members, clientele base, and other service providers in the bi-county area to best meet the needs of our communities.  We’re working with organizations throughout a 14-county area called the Southeast region, stretching from Clinton down to Keokuk and west to Iowa City.  This also includes the Quad-Cities, Muscatine and Burlington.

The Attorney General says there has been a drop in the use of shelters around the state.

We, at the YWCA, feel this statement is misleading.  While we agree we have been able to serve less people in our shelters, it is not because our clientele do not want to access this option; it is because our shelter is at capacity and has no room.  

Because of the economy, some of the women who come to the shelter stay longer as advocates help them search for jobs so they can be independent. We help place them in jobs and coordinate community services so they can live independently. Perhaps this is why it appears that fewer women are being served in shelters around the state – but we have not seen a decline in demand.

Miller says we have to come up with new ways of delivering better and more cost-effective services for our state’s crime victims.

Those of us who are providing these services work every day to ensure that our services are cost-effective.  Funding has decreased in recent years while demand has increased. Nonprofits across the state are stretching to make ends meet.  Our staff is extremely dedicated to the individuals and families we serve.   Additionally, you will see advocates involved in all aspects of our communities from coalition building, prevention education in our schools, and developing response teams to coordinate better service delivery.   Our agency will continue to listen to our community and stakeholders.  Over the next few months our Board of Directors will be making decisions regarding the impact of regionalization.   We are fully funded, our shelter is open, and our program continues to serve the Clinton and Jackson community through June 2013.  

For more information  contact me at 242-2118 or at crisisdirector@ywcaclinton.org. 

Ronelle Clark is the YWCA Crisis Services Director.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook