Victims of Crimes Funding Cut

Barbara Richardson, Executive Director of the Amarillo C.A.S.A
Barbara Richardson, Executive Director of the Amarillo C.A.S.A

Funding for victims of violent crimes has been cut by the federal government. Local agencies say they will try to manage with little or no funds from the "Victim of Crimes Act" Grant but it will be very difficult.

The Panhandle was cut over $200,000 leaving five area agencies without any funding at all. The Court Appointed Special Advocates organization says they received some money but not nearly enough to serve their average of 300 children a year.

In fact, when looking at her budget this year Executive Director of the Amarillo C.A.S.A Barbara Richardson says it makes her sick.

This year there should be in the neighborhood of 2 billion that is dedicated to help victims. And why they are cutting it,we don't know. I'd like for them to come to my office and look at those children and tell them, she says.

Richardson says the first place they will cut is staff which will reduce the number of cases C.A.S.A can take and second will be the children's services including counseling and living expenses.

She says without volunteers to help supplement a lack of funds the children will suffer legally as well without good representation in court.

Other agencies that received no funding this year include the Hutchinson County Crisis Center, Family Support Services, Potter County, and Safe Place Incorporated.

State representatives I spoke with today say they are actively looking for other sources of funding for the groups.

Agencies that did receive funding include;

*The Bridge

*Panhandle Assessment Center

*Tralee Crisis Center

*Panhandle Crisis Center