State funding causing problems at Quanada

The following is a news release from Quanada, a domestic violence shelter based in Quincy:

QUANADA TMs new Executive Director Megan Duesterhaus and Finance Director Susan Fifer have brought talent and enthusiasm to their new jobs, but nothing prepared them for the budget crisis that currently threatens their organization.

QUANADA provides services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in 5 counties in Illinois: Adams, Pike, Brown, Hancock and Schuyler. They have not received payment from the Illinois Department of Human Services since December or payment from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault since February.

We have cut expenses in every area we can, and streamlined our staff without reducing our services to clients, says Duesterhaus. Right now, we are able to help women and children through the end of May. "After June 1, we may be forced to make the decision to turn women and their children away unless we can secure additional funding."

Domestic violence has never been an easy topic for the public. Often we hear, ~why doesn TMt the victim just leave her abuser? TM Leaving is a complicated process that is compounded by obstacles like child custody and economic concerns. Women can come to QUANADA 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our services are free of charge and unduplicated in our five county service area.

From the start of their fiscal year, July 1, 2009, through April 30, 2010 QUANADA provided Domestic Violence services to 423 Adults and 125 Children. During that time period QUANADA TMs 24 hour hotline handled 2233 calls. The Sexual Assault Program provided assistance to 220 victims.