The Hearts and Spirits Healing Center has been helping people affected by various crimes since 2001 in the natural state. (Photo KATV)


While lawmakers continue to try to pass an acceptable budget to the president, local non-profit organizations that help victims of crime express their concern about the impact of the partial closure of the government on funding.

One of the main sources of funding known as the Violence Against Women Act has expired due to the closure. Other programs such as the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) are also under threat.

Since 2015, the Department of Justice has awarded more than $ 13 million to organizations in Arkansas as part of VAW and VOCA.

"First, we need to look at people who need essential services, there must be another way to compromise, and no, I guess, altered services," said Joyce Raynor, executive director of the Center for Healing. Hearts. and the spirits.

The center provides a variety of services to survivors of crime. These are services that use federal grant dollars.

"If the expenses are $ 20,000 for this month, we pay them immediately, then we receive a refund through the state of Arkansas, which receives the money. from the Department of Justice, "said Raynor.

Scott Hardin, of the Arkansas Finance Department's administration, pointed out that time is running out, as it is about the closure and provision of organizations for the government. all of the natural state.

"From January 4, if there is no resolution, there will be more federal employees to process payments, especially for the law on violence to for women, "said Hardin.

Without federal employees, access to funds is limited as they are required to give final approval to the bills.

"If we are in the same situation at the end of January, there will be really serious problems," Hardin said.

Raynor's message to Washington, think of people, of those who need healing. But despite the closure, she does not let Arkansans down.

"The services will continue."