The partial government shutdown is impacting many people across the country and in Kansas, it could put funding for some crisis centers in jeopardy.
Organizations like the Wichita Family Crisis Center depend on money from the government to help domestic violence and sexual assault victims. If the shutdown continues, they may have to find other ways to get that funding.
“The longer it goes on, the more precarious things get,” said Amanda Meyers, executive director at the Wichita Family Crisis Center.
For executive directors like Meyers, the longer the shutdown lasts, the more nerve-wracking it becomes.
“When the re-authorization is in jeopardy, we are all very nervous because we have clients and people and children that rely on our services for their safety,” said Meyers.
The shelter is one of only two of its kind in Wichita, which is crucial for those in need.
“Whether it’s through shelter in an undisclosed location to keep them safe or food or clothing or resources we can provide to them in terms of support groups and things like that,” said Meyers. “So, we are in the business of helping domestic violence survivors get and stay safe, as well as their children.”
Because of the shutdown, the Violence Against Women Act is expired. It’s the regulation that helps 26 centers across Kansas assist domestic and sexual assault victims.
“I think people think they won’t be able to visit a national park or museum, but really the people who are providing services to the most vulnerable in our society are impacted by these kinds of shutdowns,” said Meyers.
Some program will not be impacted, though. It depends on how they are funded.
“Locally, those at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) said regardless of funding, support will continue.
“We’ll continue to provide services,” said Joyce Grover, executive director of KCSDV. “What might happen if the shutdown goes on for long periods of time is that the services may shift or they may be reduced somewhat, but someone will be there to answer the phones and to provide help and support.”
Those at the crisis center said they’re paying close attention to the updates regarding the shutdown as they make plans for additional funding, if needed.
Officials said they will be open and there will be help no matter how long the shutdown lasts.