Hope House Seeing Devastating Effects of Economy
Hope House of South Central Wisconsin, the local domestic violence and sexual assault services agency, has been greatly impacted by the economy this year and for their 2012 budget. They have had four of their grants cut or significantly reduced. Just last week, they learned that the Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) program, Wisconsin’s only grant program devoted to direct services for sexual assault victims, will be cut by 42.5% for 2012. For 2010 and 2011, Hope House received $174,350, and now they will only be receiving $100,365.
This news comes at a time when Hope House has already had three other significant grants cut. Hope House previously learned that their state Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) was not funded for 2012. In 2010, they had received over $40,000 from this grant, and this year they received $26,000. Hope House received over $37,000 from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and these funds are not being made available next year. The federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) awarded Hope House over $25,000 in 2010, only $1,000 in 2011, and have given no indication that they will provide funding in 2012.
Due to these significant cuts, Hope House has had to reduce staff and cut services in the following programs: trauma counseling, sexual assault advocacy, children’s programming, domestic violence outreach, legal advocacy, and shelter.
At a time when there is national attention on cases of sexual assault and, when in 2010 Wisconsin had 58 reported deaths due to domestic violence, the need is great, awareness is rising, yet funding is getting cut.
From October 2010 to September 2011, Hope House served approximately 1300 families, responded to approximately 4500 helpline calls, and sheltered 181 individuals. Six families were referred to other housing options because at the time they requested shelter at Hope House, they were at maximum capacity. In terms of community education, Hope House gave 335 presentations and trainings to nearly 7,500 people.
Due to the budget cuts, Hope House will be actively seeking other sources of revenue through grants and fundraising. During this holiday season and beyond, they will be appealing to the community. They hope that community members recognize the need for and importance of the services they provide. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Hope House. Checks can be mailed to Hope House at P.O. Box 557, Baraboo, WI 53913. Individuals can also donate online at www.HopeHouseSCW.org. If individuals are interested in organizing a fundraiser for Hope House or know someone who would, they are encouraged to call Hope House at 608-356-9123. Hope House would like to thank the community for continued support of their mission to end domestic violence and sexual assault and to build communities where everyone feels safe and is treated with respect.