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UPDATE: Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

UPDATE (As of 7/24/2013) The 2013-14 budget eliminates the Displaced Homemaker Program by next year. These 35 programs are a self-sufficiency and workforce development programs and one such program is housed at Compass Center. The General Fund appropriation to the program will be eliminated this year. Funds collected by the Divorce Filing Fee that support the program are reduced from $55 per divorce to $35 in FY 2013-14 and are transferred entirely to support the Domestic Violence Center Fund in FY 2014-15. The Domestic Violence Center Fund provides funding related to domestic violence across the State. In FY 2011-12, the Displaced Homemaker Program Fund received $1.8 million from the fee and supported the 35 programs across the state.

Over the past few weeks we’ve asked you to reach out to your legislators to preserve funding for the Compass Center’s self-sufficiency programming.  We’re happy to report that your actions are making a difference!  An amendment to return a portion of the Displaced Homemaker funding to the House budget to preserve our programming and allow us crucial time to refocus and streamline our service delivery model passed unanimously in the House.

However, the fight is not over.  The next step is for the House and Senate to “conference” and work through differences in their respective budgets.  This is where we have to make one more push to see our funding saved!  Please contact the legislators below who serve on the House and Senate conference committees.  They hold the fate of our state funding in their hands.

Below are talking points you may use when you call or email.  Read more about Displaced Homemaker Programs here.

N.C. Displaced Homemaker Program/Talking Points SB 402

  1. Current budget proposal eliminates funding for workforce stabilization:  job preparation/career readiness/support services delivered by Displaced Homemaker program grants. 
  • Last year over 5,000 citizens benefitted from these services. Displaced Homemaker programs currently work directly with Community College systems to increase the job-readiness or to retrain motivated workers to traditional, non-traditional or STEM jobs, all of which can increase the wage earning capacity of citizens needing support
  • Although G.S restricts funding to 35 counties (G.S. 143B-394.5A), many programs serve multi-county regions. No one is turned away due to place of residence.
  • Currently, the NC Council for Women receives and directs divorce filing fees to Domestic Violence Centers.  DV programs only serve victims of sexual abuse/domestic abuse. We estimate that 85% of displaced homemaker clients are not domestic violence survivors.
  • No savings are obtained from moving funding to domestic violence programs in 2014. Cutting 36% of the fees severely hinders the effectiveness of the programs to deliver services. Maintain full $55 per program allocation from divorce filing fees to sustain services and move over 5,000 women/men from dependency to wage earners and taxpayers.
  1. Restore fees from divorce filing applications for Displaced Homemaker Programs in 2013 and 2014.
  1.  Do not phase out the program in 2014 by redirecting fees to domestic violence (DV) programs in 2014. Programs serve different needs and both are important to families in N.C.

“Shifting funding to domestic violence centers in 2014 means women who are not victims/ survivors/ or who are over 50 without small children and who do not qualify for services from county agencies will have nowhere to turn especially in rural areas.” – Dion Terry, Ed.D., M.P.A., Former Executive Director, Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County

There is still much more education work to be done. Please target your efforts to members appointed to the Appropriations Committee. Funding is currently approved until FY 2014 but the 36% reduction will require programs to cut workforce stabilization services. 

Senate Conferees: Sen. Peter S. BrunstetterChair; Sen. Harry BrownSen. Neal HuntSen. Tom ApodacaSen. Bill RabonSen. Ralph Hise

House Conferees: Rep. Nelson DollarChair; Rep. Justin P. BurrRep. Linda P. JohnsonRep. Bryan R. HollowayRep. John A. TorbettRep. Phil ShepardRep. William D. BrissonRep. Marilyn AvilaRep. Mark W. HolloRep. D. Craig HornRep. Chuck McGradyRep. Hugh BlackwellRep. N. Leo DaughtryRep. Pat B. HurleyRep. James L. Boles, Jr.Rep. John FairclothRep. Roger WestRep. Pat McElraftRep. George G. ClevelandRep. Rayne BrownRep. Jason SaineRep. Tim MooreRep. David R. Lewis

Thank you so much for your great support of women and families!  

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