Government shutdown threatens funding for Michigan domestic violence center

Posted at 9:31 AM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 12:17:12-05

MT. CLEMENS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Macomb County domestic violence center is concerned the government shutdown will effect its support for local survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

According to Turning Point Macomb -- the county's only agency dedicated to offering emergency support and prevention services for survivors -- the partial government shutdown has serious consequences for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The VAWA legislation provides crucial funding to organizations like Turning Point, but it expired at the end of December 2018. This leaves some domestic violence centers without necessary resources.

“Turning Point’s shelter currently is at capacity. We provide all the essential needs for the survivor and their children; safety, food, heat, lights, and shelter. Without the necessary funds I am not, sure how long we will be able to provide for these basic needs. Although our grants have been awarded, after January 17 we may not be able to request or receive reimbursement from those grants,” said Turning Point CEO Sharman Davenport. “Like most other shelters we bill against grants on a monthly basis after dollars are spent. If the shutdown continues beyond this month we will need to determine how to continue paying salaries, as well as the utilities, and rent.”

Though the House and Senate passed spending deals that included a clause to extend VAWA until Feb. 8, the law's future is tied to the larger debate that hinges on the partisan dispute over border wall funding.

Future payment requests from support organizations that receive VAWA funding will be delayed until the law is reauthorized.