Shelter gets funding boost

Published 2:16 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Seventeen domestic violence agencies across Alabama will begin receiving additional funds to provide services for victims, including one that serves Butler County.

The Domestic Violence Trust Fund, which went into effect in January, will supply supplemental revenue for the agencies to provide shelter for victims and conduct educational and prevention programs.

The law, enacted by the Legislature and signed into law in June 2015 by Gov. Robert Bentley, sets the marriage license fee at $60, which is distributed to help domestic violence programs in the state.

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“Domestic violence impacts many women and families across Alabama, but thanks to our state’s domestic violence agencies that offer services to help end the cycle of abuse, a victim has resources that can help rebuild lives,” Bentley said in a press release. “I am pleased to have played a role in establishing the Domestic Violence Trust Fund, and I know these grants will be the first of many new opportunities to help women and families who experience domestic violence.”

The Family Sunshine Center, which serves Butler, Lowndes, Crenshaw, Chilton, Autauga, Elmore and Montgomery Counties, is among the agencies that will benefit.

Funds will be issued to agencies quarterly by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, which manages the program. Allocations to each agency varies with the number of marriage licenses issued and are determined by a formula that involves numerous factors including population and the number of domestic violence instances.

“ADECA’s partnership with domestic violence agencies enables us to reach the people at the local level that need and deserve these services,” said ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. “There are resources available to victims of domestic violence, and ADECA is proud to support funding that connects victims to resources.”

In addition to The Family Sunshine Center, 15 other agencies will be benefiting from the trust fund, including Safeplace, Asha Kiran, Crisis Services of North Alabama, Marshall County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Victim Services of Cullman, Turning Point, Family Resource Center of Northwest Alabama, 2nd Chance, YWCA Domestic Violence Services, Safehouse of Shelby County, Domestic Violence Intervention Center, SABRA Sanctuary, Crisis Center of Russell County, Penelope House, The Lighthouse of Baldwin County and House of Ruth.