DUNCAN, OK (TNN) - The Safe Center in Duncan is just one of many agencies affected by the partial government shutdown. Over the last few months, the agency, which helps victims of domestic violence, has had a series of highs and lows, from moving into a new building, to considering how to keep their doors open during the partial government shutdown.
“So, one day, one minute, we’re excited about the move, and we really just cannot wait to everything we’ll provide, and then the next minute we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to be able to maintain without those funds,” said Cora Thomas, executive director of The Safe Center.
Last week, The Safe Center got news that fortunately, they would be receiving funding for February, but even with that, it's not much reassurance.
“So, that’s great," said Thomas. "But again, it’s still just a band-aid to the solutions.”
The agency was told that after February, they would not be receiving funding until the government reopens. Without funding, The Safe Center will have to allocate the limited funds it has left.
“We’re going to have to make some hard decisions about how we’re going to continue to keep our doors open to be able to provide services for victims of domestic violence, which, you know, like I said, it’s with salaries of employees and direct services,” said Thomas.
Since January, The Safe Center has seen an increase in victims needing services, especially for emergency temporary shelter. Many clients are asking what will happen in the future.
“They’re very worried if we’re going to be able to continue providing that support group that we have weekly or if they’re going to be able to see their advocate or the resource room where they can come in and get supplies or needs," said Thomas. "So, our clients are very worried and we’re just reassuring them that we will figure it out. We’ll find a way not to have to short or stop any services for our victims.”
Thomas said the community has stepped up in the past to help when times were tough. If the shutdown continues, assistance will definitely be necessary to help keep the doors open.
“We’re always looking to restock our resource room, which has hygiene products, cleaning supplies, a lot of toiletries. The other thing that we’re always looking for is maybe just volunteer hours. We’re looking for volunteers to come in and help us with that and answering the phone and maybe providing some type of assistance. So, those two things," said Thomas. "Of course, you know, donations is always something that we’re looking for as well.”
Thomas said a way people can help is to reach out to local and state representatives to let them know how the government shutdown is affecting your community.