BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local refuge that provides a safe space for women and children in need has lost $165,000 this year.
The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter has been losing funds from a federal grant called Victims of Crime Act.
The money is used to pay the shelter’s advocate team, outreach advocates, people who answer the crisis lines, and therapists who provide counseling services to their clients.
Amanda Apple, director of development at the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, was a recipient of the shelter many years ago.
She says the shelter means everything to her.
“The potential for not being able to continue the work that we’re all doing is heartbreaking,” Apple said.
The shelter offers a place to call home to women in abusive situations.
Apple describes the loss of funding as a “hard pill to swallow” and hopes the community will chip in to help by donating, volunteering, or partnering with them on a special project.
The shelter has lost 40% of federal money from VOCA each year since 2021.
Apple says if the shelter does not have funding, it cannot continue to keep the advocacy positions filled. This means it will no longer be able to support clients.
Even though Arkansas lawmakers approved money for crime victim advocacy groups, Director of Community Engagement at the shelter Elaine Jackson says the shelter does not know how much money it will receive or when and if it will be enough to cover their losses.
“In the past, we’ve been able to rely on that federal funding, and we’re really unsure that we’ll ever see that number increase to where we were previously funded,” Jackson said.
Jackson says they are hoping for more community support to help with funding challenges.
Lawmakers approved a one-time funding measure to shelters across the state using money through the American Rescue Plan.
The women’s shelter is also accepting donations such as pillows, umbrellas, and paper towels.
You can bring them to their thrift store located at 1622 S. 8th Street in Rogers.
The shelter is hosting a fundraiser on Oct. 28 from 6-9 p.m.
KNWA/FOX24’s Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff will be emceeing the event.