Gov. Deal Recommends Slashing State Dollars for Crisis Centers

Alison Flowers
February 28, 2011

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has proposed to eliminate state funding for domestic violence shelters and sex assault centers, replacing the resources with federal dollars from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund for fiscal year 2011.

But domestic violence shelter directors are saying TANF does not cover many of their costs and would not be able to help roughly 31 percent of their victims: women without children.

The state Senate worked last week to reinstate some money to sex assault support centers, but could not get the line item in for domestic violence shelters.

According to the Georiga Coalition Against Domestic Violence, TANF may not cover operating costs, jeopardizing programs if not threatening to close shelter doors.

Meanwhile, Kyle Bair of the Sexual Assault Support Center in Columbus says she is thankful some of her state dollars were restored, but she worries about the impact of being funded primarily by TANF.

“It has nothing to do with the servicese that we provide, so of course, if that’s not written somewhere, we are certainly afraid that that’s not going to be a fair trade,” Bair said.

The Governor’s Office for Children and Families has sent two letters to shelter directors in the last month, emphasizing the seriousness of the budget shortfall, while also stressing the important of providing a stable funding stream for shelter services.