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Local non-profit loses federal and state funding, putting services in jeopardy

Posted at 8:48 AM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 09:48:17-04

BRYAN, Texas — Over the course of the pandemic, many organizations experienced dips in fundraising efforts. Now one local group is losing out on federal and state funding.

The Brazos Valley Sexual Assault Resource Center did not find out they would lose approximately $263,000 worth of grant funding until this month.

”This month we slowly received all of our grant award letters and as we received those award letters, we realized that we were being unfunded for two of our grants and significantly reduced for our largest grant we receive,” said Lindsey Leblanc, the Brazos Valley Sexual Assault Resource Center Executive Director.

The loss of this funding puts many of their services in jeopardy of changes.

“Welcome to the sexual assault resource center, so I’ll show you a bit of what we do. One thing is our care packages. When a survivor is out at the hospital getting their forensic examination their SANE exam, sexual assault nurse examination. We provide a care package to them that includes things like a sports bra and toiletries,” added Leblanc.

The sexual assault resource center says this year they have seen a 10% increase in people they serve.

”Our primary services are our counseling which is individual and group counseling. We also have advocacy, so we actually have a 24/7 hot-line that any survivor or friends and family of survivors,” Leblanc explained.

SARC in the Brazos Valley is not the only organization feeling this loss.

“VOCA is our primary funder and it’s a federal grant. The victims of crime act and that grant was cut across the federal level by 35%,” Leblanc shared.

Community members who understand the importance of their mission are saddened but plan to support any fundraisers they may have and encourage others to do the same.

”I mean that’s something that is very important, it means a lot to a lot of people and I hate that they’re losing a lot of their money,” said Barbara Peevey, Co-owner of Brazos Glassworks.

The organization utilizes these funds to support victims in their healing journey in various ways.

“They might need housing assistance, or utility assistance, they might have time where they didn’t actually go into work due to the trauma and so there are lots of things that we provide that support them through that time and get them further down their healing journey,” said Leblanc

The Sexual Assault Resource Center also provides education and prevention services. They reach out to the community and engage with various businesses to ensure together they are preventing sexual assault and violence.