Agencies that provide services to victims of domestic and sexual violence are to get a boost to their funding with the release of monies from the 2001 Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Fund, according to Attorney General Hardy Myers.
"It is impossible to overstate the importance of providing advocacy for victims of child abuse, domestic and sexual violence, and other traumatic crime," said Myers.
Locally, the Clatsop County Women's Resource Center, will receive an additional $25,367 on top of its regular funding from the state. The center has already received half of these monies, and will receive the other half "if we do the work," explains Pat Burness of the CCWRC.
Tillamook County Women's Crisis Center will receive an additional $5,435 if its staff does what is expected of them. According to Myers, this fund represents "a meaningful step in addressing the devastating effect that domestic and sexual violence can have on Oregon communities."
Burness said the extra money for the Clatsop County center will be used to hire two part-time employees, a cultural specialist and a manager for a safe house.
"Hardy Myers did a lot to get this through the Legislature. He's very excited about it," Burness said. She added that such money is needed to stabilize domestic abuse programs. A great deal of its funding comes from grants so "you never know what you're going to get," she added.
The only stable funding the CCWRC receives each year is through United Way. "We use United Way funding to pay rent," said Burness, and as the United Way funding requires a 25-percent local match, it also gives her a good reason to apply for other grants.
Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties make up Region 1 when it comes to funding for services to victims of domestic violence. Burness advises that funding is based on geographical and population size, so the Region 1 counties traditionally receive a lot less money that the more populated counties, even though they may serve the same number of people.
"We have to be very creative," Burness said. This year, the three counties applied for different parts of the funding to ensure that they were not competing against each other. And it worked. "We got our share," Burness said.