LISBON Grants save programs at women's shelter

The nonprofit Christina House may turn to private funding to help it meet funding shortfalls.
LISBON -- A women's shelter is maintaining its programming, even after losing a key federal grant.
Christina House officials were concerned in August that they would have to eliminate certain programs aimed at helping women who use the domestic violence shelter.
Jeopardized programs included those that provide counseling for shelter occupants, send shelter representatives to area hospitals to visit injured domestic violence victims and educate the community about domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault.
State, federal grants: The programs were saved, however, when Christina house was able to land a $12,000 state grant and a $15,000 federal grant, Beth Schmitt, Christina House program director, explained Monday.
The funding helps offset the loss of a nearly $55,000 grant earlier this year.
Christina House had received the state-administered federal grant annually since 1998 and had come to count on it as a significant part of its annual operating budget of about $185,000.
But this year the nonprofit agency didn't get the grant because the state changed the distribution formula for it, Schmitt explained.
The loss of the money prompted the agency to consider canceling some of its programming.
Still short: Schmitt acknowledged that the agency is still thousands of dollars short of the money it needs to continue its programming.
She said Christina House is hoping to get additional federal dollars, perhaps as much as $10,000, in February.
The agency also is prepared to seek funding through donations from other sources such as individuals and service organizations.
Christina House is part of the Catholic Charities Regional Agency, which also may help make up any funding shortfalls, Schmitt said.
She said she's confident programming won't have to be axed.
"We're not going to eliminate any of our programs," she said. "We'll go by faith that the money will be there."

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