Friday, August 7, 2009

A Bit of Positive Funding News for Domestic Violence Programs in California

Domestic violence groups get federal funds
Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, August 7, 2009
(08-06) 18:44 PDT -- The U.S. Justice Department awarded nearly $3 million Thursday to six California domestic violence programs - including two in the Bay Area - that just lost millions of dollars to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto.
The Office on Violence Against Women Recovery Act Transitional Training Program grants will support temporary housing, short-term financial support, employment assistance and other services to victims of domestic violence.
In the Bay Area, Marin Abused Women's Services will receive more than $413,000 and San Mateo County's Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse will receive $500,000. State officials said they are pleased to see federal funds go to programs that lost state money when the Republican governor used his line-item veto to cut $489 million from California's budget last month.
Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer noted Thursday that all six programs gained more from the federal grants than they lost to the veto.
But directors of the programs receiving the grants said that was comparing apples and oranges. The state money supported short-term crisis intervention care for victims of domestic violence, they said, while the new grant is specifically targeted to support transitional housing that comes later in the process.
"This actually and unfortunately makes no difference, because this is toward the second part of our continuum," said Donna Garske, executive director of Marin Abused Women's Services.
Service providers are hoping to see more state money under a proposal by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, that would shift money from the crime victims compensation fund to the domestic violence program.
Both Garske and Melissa Lukin, director of Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse, were quick to say they were nevertheless glad to see the federal money.
"This is great news," said Lukin, adding that the money will allow them to retain two employees and provide clients with rent, child care and other services. In Marin the money will allow new staff to be hired, Garske said.
E-mail Matthew B. Stannard at
This article appeared on page A - 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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