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Domestic Violence center gets boost

Grant funding will allow center to rehire clinical director, keep doors open

Posted: December 20, 2009 10:10 p.m.
Updated: December 21, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

The local domestic violence center has raised nearly $40,000 in grant funding that will allow it to bring back at least one crucial staff member laid off in November by the end of next year.

The violence center's executive director Nicole Shellcroft said she has applied for numerous grants over the past several months to keep the center open. In November, the center was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation, she said.

"It's huge," Shellcroft said. "Foundation grants from Henry Mayo literally allow us to keep our outreach open and functioning and maintain the same level of service we've had in the past."

In order to get the money from the grant, the center had to raise an additional $20,000. Including donations received at the beginning of October, the center is only a few hundred dollars from reaching their goal, Shellcroft said.

Finding money to keep the center open has been a struggle after state funding was cut by about $50,000 earlier this year, Shellcroft said.

To weather the financial storm, the center laid off two staff members a few months ago, she said. The center also moved to a smaller facility and every staff member took a 20 percent pay cut.

The state hasn't figured out where money will come from next year, she said. California provides about 45 percent of the center's annual budget.

The grant money will allow the center to hire back the center's clinical director who had to be let go in November, Shellcroft said. The clinical director's job is crucial, she said, since she provides individual therapy to woman at the shelter and supervises the center's therapy services.

Their clinical director now volunteers at the center twice a week, she said.

Molly Maid, a professional cleaning service in Canyon Country, has raised nearly $2,000 for the shelter in a few short weeks. Molly Maid's owner John Smith said he was motivated to help after hearing the center had lost state funding. He sent about 300 letters to his customers, and matched the almost $1,000 his customers raised, he said.

"Molly Maid has been phenomenal," Shellcroft said. "We're so thankful for the support."

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