Rural Domestic Violence Centers Question Grant Rejection

3 years 9 months 1 week ago Thursday, March 06 2014 Mar 6, 2014 Thursday, March 06, 2014 2:38:00 PM CST March 06, 2014 in News
By: Alexandra Engel, KOMU 8 Reporter
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MOBERLY - The Co-Director of Moberly's Safe Passage Domestic Violence Center is fighting to get its grant money after being rejected for the first time in 10 years.

The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) rejected 15 domestic violence center grant applications. Co- Director of the Moberly center, Kelly Pedigo, received the rejection letter on Feb. 18 with no explanation as to why or where the funds are going. Safe Passage is one of the rejected 15 and Pedigo needs answers and funds.

According to Pedigo, 2014 is the first year MHDC has been in charge of the grant. For the past 10 years, Safe Passage received around $20,000 each year to fund the building. The money on average took care of 50 percent of the building costs. The money is allocated to utilities, a security system, liabilities, water bills, Internet and more.

An article published on Missourinet reported that Representative Chris Kelly said the Nixon administration "acted quickly to find another source of funds for those shelters."

Pedigo said she hasn't received any letters, emails, or calls from the administration or anyone else about granting funds to the shelter.

"No I haven't gotten anything. I hope they're looking for new funds and I hope they did find some that I don't know about but as of right now, it's not in the bank," said Pedigo.

Besides Moberly, 14 other shelters' applications were rejected.

"I was surprised that we didn't get anything at all. I mean it feels a little heartless and it really feels like the rural shelters were targeted," said Pedigo.

Pedigo explained that she and the Missouri Housing Development Commission have always had a similar goal. A lot of people that are homeless are trying to escape domestically abusive environments. MHDC and Pedigo both want homeless people off the streets and in safe shelters.

The MHDC has not provided an explanation for rejecting the 15 shelter grant applications and also hasn't published who will receive the funding. Employees like Pedigo must wait for the funding report to be published before contacting MHDC.

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