Farmington domestic violence shelter faces money crisis

Posted at: 09/30/2013 11:29 AM
Updated at: 09/30/2013 11:30 AM
By: The Associated Press

Photo: KOB File Photo

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - A Four Corners shelter that provides housing for women and children fleeing abusive situations is facing a funding crisis, officials with the group recently announced.

Funding for New Beginnings in Farmington has dropped dramatically in the last four years because of the economic downturn, the Daily Times reported.

The crisis comes as the area reports an uptick in domestic violence related cases. The Farmington Police Department, for example, received more than 2,500 domestic violence calls last year, and the San Juan County Sheriff's Office received more than 1,000 such reports.

That's double the number calls authorities in the area received in 2010, said New Beginnings' Board President Tiffaney Hergenreter.

The nonprofit receives some state and federal funding, but it relies on donations from churches, charitable groups and fundraising projects to stay in operation. Women accepted into New Beginnings can stay in the program for up to a year. There currently is a waitlist to enter the program.

"Much of our funding over the last four years has shrunk dramatically due to the economy," said Susan Kimbler, New Beginnings' executive director. "Because of the decrease in funding, we are now only able to serve half the number of women and children we did before."

Hergenreter said some of the nonprofit's staff have been reduced and other changes have been made to deal with the shortfall.

The shelter is scheduled to hold several fundraisers in October to help close the funding gap.

In the meantime, the shelter is using volunteers to help fill some of those gaps left by reduced staff, Hergenreter said.

"Sometimes, the ladies just need someone to talk with or pray with," she said. "We could also use help with child care, because a lot of times the only work the women are qualified for is as a waitress, or they have to work evening shifts at Walmart. There is no evening day care, and the kids need to be able to sleep in their own beds."

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