Government shutdown could force women, children’s shelters to close their doors

Non-profit organizations impacted by government shutdown

INDEPENDENCE & JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Domestic violence shelters across the state of Arkansas could close their doors if the government shutdown doesn’t end soon.

The White River Women’s Shelter in Newport receives federal funding from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to provide services to those in need.

Since the partial government shutdown, the shelter has not received any reimbursements.

This has limited pay for operations and even the employees themselves.

Executive Director Theresa Aasen said the shutdown has affected their day-to-day operations.

“The true victims of the government shutdown will be the ones that are victims of crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault,” Aasen said. “They will have nowhere to go.”

Aasen said she hopes people will call their Arkansas state senators and representatives and tell them how important it is for the sheltersto remain open.

The Children’s Advocacy Center in Batesville is also feeling the pinch. Lindsey Carter, executive director and forensic interviewer, said they need the federal funding to keep their doors open.

The center’s mission to protect, empower and heal all child abuse victims in Independence, Izard, Stone, Sharp and Fulton counties.

“The children really need these services," Carter said. “They need the advocacy, the medical services and the forensic interviewing services to be able to heal from their abuse.”

Carter said she is hopeful the government shutdown will resolve itself quickly.

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