Government shutdown could slow funding for local domestic abuse shelters

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Shelters like the Wichita Family Crisis Center provide help for women and children affected by domestic violence, but without government funding, the shelter could be forced to close its doors.

"We rely heavily on this and our margins are very thin, so to the extent that those funds dry up in any way seriously puts our clients in jeopardy," says Amanda Meyers, Executive Director of the Wichita Family Crisis Center.

Meyers says if the shutdown lasts any longer, the shelter could face a major shortfall in funding from government grants. 80% of funding for the crisis center comes from federal grants.

"It's a matter of keeping the lights on. It's a matter of keeping our staff and our services funded. It's truly terrifying," says Meyers.

Catholic Charities' Harbor House is also a shelter for domestic violence victims. 30% of its funding comes from the government.

"We have a limited amount of reserves, but depending on how long the shutdown goes, we're confident that we'll be able to continue to deliver services," says Wendy Glick, Executive Director of Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities won't have to ask the government to tap into those grants until the end of this month, but the Wichita Family Crisis Center will be filing for a reimbursement Thursday.

"I've weathered other government shutdowns and I don't remember it being like this. I don't remember being this scared before," says Meyers.

Both centers say shelters are at capacity daily. Harbor House shelters up to 350 people every year.

"I just want people to know that it's about more than a wall, or it's about more than our national parks filling up with garbage. There are other consequences," says Meyers.

If you would like to donate to the Wichita Family Crisis Center, their needs include things like diapers, clothing, and personal hygiene products. You can find a full wish list here.

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