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Shutdown relief: Local non-profits starting to see money trickle in

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 23:32:37-05

Hours after President Donald Trump announced a temporary plan to reopen the federal government, the Spring of Tampa Bay got a much-needed surprise.

“We got our October payment today,” President and CEO Mindy Murphy said. “So, it’s the end of January, and we got paid for October, so you breathe a sigh of relief and hope that November’s payment and December’s payment comes soon.”

The Spring is a state certified domestic violence shelter. The non-profit operates on federal funds as well as a mix of state money and private donations.

For the past 35 days of the shutdown, they’ve been putting contingency plans in place to make sure there were no lapses in services.

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The non-profit operates a 128-bed emergency shelter, a 12 unit apartment complex, has seven lawyers on staff and countless dedicated employees working to keep survivors of domestic violence and their families safe.

“We did a survey of the 42 certified domestic violence centers in the state of Florida and in the first month of the shutdown, January, there were five centers that because they were small serving very rural populations, were going to be immediately impacted by the shutdown and have to close some of their services,” Murphy said. “That puts women’s lives in danger.”

Murphy said several private donors were ready to step up and write big checks to keep the non-profit running. The current plan will fund the government until Feb. 15. At that point, it is anyone’s guess whether Republicans and Democrats will agree on border security.

Murphy said she is still keeping their plans in place because the crisis of violence against women in the U.S. is something Murphy said no one could ignore.

“Every day in the United States three women are murdered at the hands of an abusive partner,” Murphy said. “ I think there is relief. But, we are obviously cautious because this is only a temporary reprieve.”