Local domestic violence shelters forced to cut staff, services due to government shutdown

DELAND, Fl. — Some domestic violence shelters have had to cut staff and services beacuse of the government shutdown.

Volusia County's Beacon Center is one of the shelters expected to take a hit.

"I have been tossing and turning, up late, early, waking up, thinking about the choices that we have to make," said Beacon Center Director Angie Pye.

Pye has been crunching the numbers and believes she'll have to furlough 15 of her 27 employees and limit financial help for some of the women that the shelter assists. The center will soon only be able to provide "core services" such as the emergency shelter and 24-hour hotline.

Services such as helping women file restraining orders will have to be cut.

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Lara Weems Rezapour serves as a lawyer for the Beacon Center and is worried that some of the cuts will leave women in danger.

"If I had a lawyer to be able to stand beside me to say, no we are going to do this together, then I would've moved forward with my case," said Rezapour. "I most likely would've gotten an injunction and I wouldn't have had to live on the run for all that time."

Many Central Florida domestic violence shelters rely on the federal government for up to 40 percent of their funding.

A Flagler County shelter director had to lay off six of her 27 employees due to the shutdown. She was planning on more layoffs, but recieved a loan from a supporter on Thursday to help prevent it.

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