FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local nonprofit’s hope for extra funding was dashed this week by the Washington County Quorum Court.
Magdalene Serenity House, which houses up to eight women recently released from prison, asked the Washington County Justices of the Peace for just over $33,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act. The proposal received only four “yes” votes on the 14-justice panel. The District 4 seat is currently vacant.
“When we applied for the ARPA funding. It was for specific needs,” said Takama Statton-Brooks, executive director of Magdalene Serenity House. “We were hoping to do for utilities, the cost of our security system, basic needs for the operations of this facility. We were very specific on how we planned to use [the funding].”
Magdalene Serenity House helps the women after their incarcerations by providing up to two years of addiction, abuse and trauma support, among other services.
District 11 Justice of the Peace Suki Highers lobbied on Magdalene Serenity House’s behalf at the quorum court meeting, pointing to the “inequity” in funding. The Quorum Court approved $1.9 million of ARPA funds to be given to Returning Home — a program that helps men after their incarceration.
KNWA/FOX24 reached out to three Justices of the Peace who voted against the funding proposal but did not hear back.