The State of Illinois has been without a budget for nearly 21 months.
During that time of uncertainty, lawmakers put together a stopgap measure to keep funds flowing throughout the state for the first half of Fiscal Year 2017.
The Center for Prevention of Abuse learned recently that funding for its domestic violence and family centered shelter programs were not included in the stopgap measure, despite being assured to the contrary.
The lack of state funding has left the center with a $203,000 deficit.
Carol Merna, Executive Director of The Center for Prevention of Abuse, told WMBD’s Greg and Dan Show Monday that at this point, the center cannot rely on the State of Illinois or the federal government fill the gap in funding its programs.
“The Center has been fiscally responsible. We conserve, conserve, conserve. We make sure we have as much available for our clients as we can with the resources that we have,” said Merna.
Beginning Tuesday, the agency is turning to the community for help.
Through the ‘Be the Bridge’ fundraiser, the organization hopes to encourage old and new friends to post a picture on their social media sites, like Facebook, to help raise money and awareness.
The Center for Prevention of Abuse is asking the public to create and hold up a simple sign with a half circle (representing the bridge) with a heart underneath and to include “#iamthebridge.”
Anyone can donate online by sharing their picture on social media and asking friends to do the same.
On Facebook, supporters can choose to add the ‘Donate’ button to their post or steer supporters to The Center for Prevention of Abuse website HERE.
The Center for Prevention of Abuse serves children, adults, and seniors throughout six counties in central Illinois: Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton, Marshall, and Stark Counties.
The center is the only agency in the State of Illinois to house combined services under one roof for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, elder abuse and abuse of adults living with disabilities. The organization serves about 5,000 clients annually.
The Center for Prevention of Abuse also teaches young people about keeping their bodies safe, building healthy relationships, and methods to prevent bullying. Last year The Center’s professional educators reached over 33,000 students.