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Domestic Violence Shelter Threatened by Government Shutdown
ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WPMI )
UPDATE: In an open letter to Baldwin County Commissioners, Exceutive Director Joanne Sheils asked the Commission to release emergency funding for the shelter. The shelter will not be able to access funds for at least a couple weeks after the end of the federal government shutdown. The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. Senate has reached a deal to end the government shutdown.)
The partial shutdown of the federal government is continuing to have affects well beyond Washington, D.C.
The Lighthouse is the only domestic violence shelter that offers aid to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Baldwin and Escambia Counties. According to employees, 60-70% of the shelters overall budget comes from federal funds. As the shutdown enters its 16th day, the executive director of The Lighthouse is now hoping ordinary citizens can keep the shelter going.
If you do hear me talk its because I need to be saying something. Im putting a call out to the community, to our friends and neighbors, we need your support in this time of need, said Joann Sheils.
Along with monetary donations, the shelter says it needs everyday supplies like womens clothing and paper towels. A full list of the shelters needs can be found on its website: http://abeacon.org/needs.html
It costs approximately $60,000 per month to run the shelter. If it is unable to recoup the federal funds elsewhere than Sheils says she will have to cut her staff of 15 people. If the federal government were to be reopened today, Sheils says it could still take as many as 6 weeks for the shelter to begin receiving its funding again.