Advocates of Domestic Violence Victims Awarded State Grant


Jacob Resneck/KMXT

Advocates for victims of domestic violence report that their services are increasingly in high demand. The nonprofit that runs Kodiak’s womens’ shelter says it’s at capacity. But help is on the way. Kodiak was one of four communities to receive a substantial grant from the state in an ambitious plan to combat the root causes of domestic violence. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck reports.

— domestic violence pkg 6:38 "In a nondescript … to the villages. I’m Jacob Resneck."

In a nondescript building in the Aleutian Homes neighborhood, the Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center operates a shelter for battered women.

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The center’s director Rebecca Shields shows me the interior. It’s the middle of the workday and there’s not many people around. But she says that for the past year, the eight-bed shelter has been at capacity.

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Each room has two twin beds. So right now Shields wants to add bunks.

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Its goal is to offer 1,000 nights of shelter to 35 different adults over 12 months. We’re into the third quarter of the cycle and already 1,628 nights of shelter have been provided, says Angela Bowling, the center’s outreach coordinator.

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Last month the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services awarded grants to four communities: Dillingham, Sitka, Bethel and Kodiak.

The state’s manager for prevention and early intervention services is Diane Casto. She says each grant is designed to be flexible so that communities can set priorities and find what works and what doesn’t.

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The Kodiak Area Native Association was awarded the grant to serve Kodiak Island. KANA’s grant coordinator Anita Bailor says the program is designed to help different organizations coordinate their efforts.

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KANA’s behavioral director Marge Andrus says the specifics of the program are still being drafted, but she expects the program to be far-reaching.

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The $200,000 must be spent by the end of June. Four annual grants of $200,000 are expected provided the state legislature doesn’t withdraw its support. Casto says the goal is that each of the four pilot programs will help improve domestic violence programs across the state.

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KANA and the resource and crisis center are setting up meetings to see how the grant will be structured. Andrus says she expects one of the first hires will be a coordinator.

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At the shelter Shields shows the small bedrooms in which women and their children are dependent on for a safe place to stay.

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The state grant likely won’t be used for expanding the shelter but Shields says she’s looking at other ways to make that happen.

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The expanded program is also designed to expand services to the villages.

I’m Jacob Resneck


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