PITTSBURG — Gov. Laura Kelly announced over $20 million in federal grants awarded Friday to 65 Kansas crime victims’ assistance programs — including more than $400,000 for two Pittsburg organizations.
The awards were from the Federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance program, which is funded by the Federal Crime Victims’ Fund through federal fines, penalty assessments, forfeited appearances and bail bonds, rather than taxpayer money. They included $340,490 for Safehouse Crisis Center, which has offices in Pittsburg and Coffeyville, and $61,780 for the Pittsburg-based Children’s Advocacy Center.
“We are very excited to receive this grant as it will help us expand our services in 2020,” said Whitney Lovell, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC).
The CAC “is a neutral, child-focused setting where children can be interviewed when there has been an allegation of child abuse; specifically child sexual abuse, but also severe physical abuse and instances where a child may have witnessed a violent act,” according to its website.
A Safehouse Crisis Center representative could not be reached for comment Monday, but the organization is well-known in the Pittsburg community for its work helping victims of domestic abuse and similar crimes.
Safehouse Crisis Center’s mission “is to aid in the reduction of the incidence of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” according to its website. “Agency services include crisis intervention, emergency shelter, victim advocacy, public education and community awareness, statistical analysis, and involvement in legislative reform.”
Gov. Kelly also commented on the significance of the recently announced grants.
“Grants for programs that assist victims and survivors of crime are so critical to Kansans,” Kelly said in a press release. “No one should have to go through this process alone. These grants will help fund the programs that victims and survivors can access during tragic situations.”