CHAMPAIGN COUNTY — Courage Connection says donors have been trying to bail them out from the bind the state’s lack of dollars put them in.
They launched an emergency funding campaign two weeks ago to keep their services going. They say they are grateful for the outpouring of support they’ve gotten.
They have been able to rally almost $100,000 in the past couple of weeks. That means they can keep their doors open a little longer, but it’s only a short-term fix.
Here’s what courage connection says is the biggest problem:
They have to spend state dollars every month, and submit reports of how much they spent and how they spent it…but the state hasn’t been paying them back.
The staff told us domestic violence services were supposed to get at least partial funding from the state for FY 2017.
Courage connection was under the impression from the state that help was coming, as were the other state-funded services.
It wasn’t made known until about November of last year that they actually weren’t on the list.
“Nobody stepped up to the plate and said this is exactly how this happened. We haven’t gotten a straight answer. All that we’ve been able to discern is that there are people on both sides of the aisle, in both of the houses, who honestly thought that we would be receiving funding, and that everyone was blindsided by the message that we weren’t,” said executive director Isak Griffiths.
Griffiths said they’re trying to make it through June, when FY 2017 ends. They hope fy 18 will bring the funding they need to stay open.
For now, they say every day they stay afloat is a small victory…”to turn to our clients and say ‘don’t worry, you still have a place to stay tonight. You do not have to go back to where it’s dangerous, and not only are you safe tonight, we’re still doing everything we can to make sure we’ll still have a place for you tomorrow.,” said Griffiths.
Courage Connection said they are still relying on donations to stay going. They say they’ve been amazed by the community’s support so far, and they hope it continues.
The latest report from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence said the number of domestic violence survivors served has dropped across the board.
The report says the amount of adults able to be served decreased by 10% over the past nine years.
In 2015, more than 3,600 adults were turned away, and more than 4,200 children.