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Middle Way House Worried About Potential Impact If Shutdown Continues

Middle Way House got more than $465,000 in grants from the Office on Violence Against Women. (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

Organizations that provide services for victims of domestic and sexual violence are worried the ongoing government shutdown could hurt their programs if it drags on. 

Many of the nonprofits get a significant portion of funding from federal grants. Data from the Office on Violence Against Women awarded Indiana organizations nearly $6 million in grants last fiscal year.

Bloomington-based Middle Way House provides services including emergency housing and legal help for victims of domestic and sexual violence.  

It received more than $465,000 in federal grants from the Office on Violence Against Women last fiscal year.

Executive Director Debra Morrow says some of that money helps with their transitional housing program, which serves about 30 adults and 65 children each year. 

She worries how they’ll be affected if the shutdown continues.

"Some of them are subsidized with Section 8 vouchers, and some of them are subsidized by us," Morrow says. "So, between if we wouldn’t be receiving our funding for our transitional housing grant and we also lost HUD funding, which HUD funding is scheduled to end February 28, that would really have a huge impact on that program."

Morrow says many of the people Middle Way House helps rely on several federal government programs, and not knowing whether they'll have those resources makes their difficult situations worst.

She says Congress and President Trump need to consider what really matters – people, not politics. 

"These individuals that have experienced domestic violence and multiple traumas, the government’s re-traumatizing them because they’re living in fear everyday about what’s going to happen," she says. 

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