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Shelter from the Storm

News Release

Contact:  Tim O'Bayley
760/778-3525
tim@obayley.net

$250,000 GRANT TO MAKE UP DRASTIC SHORTFALL AT SHELTER
FROM THE STORM

Desert Heathcare District to Help Assist More Than 500 Local Victims of Domestic Violence

PALM SPRINGS: November 24, 2009 –A $250,000 grant from Desert Healthcare District will help Shelter From The Storm remain open after Governor Schwarzenegger used the line-item veto (July 2009) to eliminate 100% of State funding for domestic violence emergencies. The funding cut translated into a loss of $250,000 in core operating funds for the local agency, which is dedicated to assisting women and children who are victims of domestic violence. With private donations stagnant and fundraisers netting significantly less income, the grant will help keep the agency’s doors open to serve more than 500 District residents at the Emergency Shelter.

It’s practically unthinkable that the Governor and State lawmakers would cut domestic abuse funding so drastically, especially with the demand for our services up nearly one third from last year,” said Lynn Moriarty, Executive Director of Shelter From The Storm. “Luckily, Desert Healthcare District realized the massive impact this loss of funding would cause for our agency, and stepped in to help us sustain these critical services. Sadly, domestic violence affects thousands of women and children right here in the Coachella Valley each year, and now thanks to the District, our doors will stay open to help them get back on their feet.”

From Washington D.C., Congresswoman Mary Bono-Mack said of the contribution: "Today I join our entire community in offering my heartfelt thanks to Desert Healthcare District for their generosity and spirit of giving that will help so many local women and children in need," said Bono Mack. "This generous contribution supports the outstanding work being done at Shelter from the Storm and helps ensure that women and young people facing violence in their own homes have a place to go and caring individuals turn to. I commend Desert Healthcare District for playing such an important role in giving back to our community and helping to bring hope and healing to people facing devastating circumstances."

The grant funds will sustain core staff and operations in order to keep the Emergency Shelter and its services open. It will also ensure that victims who are monolingual in Spanish will receive critical psychotherapeutic services from a bilingual clinician and psychiatrist. All of the victims served by Shelter From The Storm live at or below the poverty level, and the shelter is often the provider of ‘last resort’ responding to the poorest of the poor – marginalized women and children who have been underserved by the heath care, education, and social service systems.

We do not think that Shelter From The Storm is an optional service,” said Glen Grayman, MD, Board President for Desert Healthcare District. “We have to maintain a safe place where women and children who are victims of domestic violence can go to begin building a better life. Times may be tough economically, but this organization is not one we can afford to lose.

Shelter from The Storm was founded in 1988 in response to the critical needs of domestic violence victims in the Coachella Valley. Since then, the organization has expanded to operate a 72-bed emergency shelter for approximately 400 women and children annually. Shelter From the Storm is among the largest domestic violence shelters in California and is the only domestic violence victim assistance organization located within Desert Healthcare District’s boundaries. The mission of the organization is to provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities.

Accomplishments of Shelter From The Storm include the operation of an onsite preschool program and adjacent K-12 Schoolhouse, making it possible for children to reside at the Emergency Shelter without missing school and falling behind academically. An onsite medical clinic, staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, was recently opened at the Emergency Shelter. Other programs include a 24-hour Crisis Line, a Community Counseling Center, Outreach Centers, Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program and Transitional Housing for domestic violence survivors preparing for independent living in the community.

Desert Healthcare District is a government agency, established by the state of California in 1948, to improve and support community health programs within a 457-square mile service area in the Coachella Valley.  The District also owns and oversees the lease of Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

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Shelter From The Storm is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
73-555 Alessandro Drive, Suite D, Palm Desert, CA 92260. (760) 674-0400.