Nogales Domestic Violence shelter cut from 10 beds to 4
Reporter: Craig Smith
NOGALES (KGUN9-TV) - For women facing domestic violence a safe shelter can truly be a matter of life and death.
Now the one and only emergency women's shelter in Nogales is in such a budget crunch, it's scrambling to give women in crisis a safe place to stay.
The location of the "Our House" shelter is secret. It would not be a safe house if an angry spouse knew where to find it.
Without it the woman we'll call "Rose" would have no place for her children.
She says, "I'd stay homeless and living in my car."
But now the shelter is struggling to help women like Rose after state funding for the shelter was cut almost in half--- from 135 thousand dollars to about 70 thousand
Rose says, "It's sad to hear that. It's critical. I know there's other women out there who have children just like I do. They need a place like this to run to to be safe."
Catholic Community Services of Southeastern Arizona runs the shelter. Now instead of ten emergency beds, the shelter has four. No one in crisis is turned away but they may be in cots and roll away beds. The biggest difference is they used to be able to stay up to three months. Now it's a week before they must move to bigger shelters in Sierra Vista or Douglas, far from jobs and schools.
Christina Riddle of CCS says, "Taking a family that's experienced a trauma and that are trying to rebuild their lives and then saying you can no longer stay in your community that was really challenging and really difficult."
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada says it's no time to push shelter resources down when abuse is up.
Sheriff Estrada says, "As the economic situation gets more cruel and more difficult we see more of those cases coming up."
Rose is grateful the shelter's been able to keep her family safe, and close to their life in Nogales.
"It's helped us a lot, my children, getting them back to school. That's the important thing, they're in school. I'm grateful for this place and I just hope that it can keep up and for other families that are out there that need it too."
The shelter's been told this budget squeeze could persist at least five years and may get even worse.
They're hoping public support will help see them through.
If you'd like to help you can call the Our House hotline at 520-287-2107 or the program coordinator for Catholic Community Services of Southeastern Arizona at 520-458-4203 extension 103.