Women’s shelters across Louisiana fear lack of funding amid government shutdown

Women’s shelters across Louisiana fear lack of funding amid government shutdown

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Kathy Williams is the executive director of Oasis women’s shelter in Lake Charles. She says the government shutdown hasn’t affected her yet, but says if this isn’t resolved soon, it could spell trouble for the shelter.

"Yeah we're a little concerned,” Williams said. “If I goes on too long, we would be in a real bind. We would probably close our doors."

Williams says 85% of all the funding for the shelter comes from the federal government. The remaining 15% comes from private donations, which she says for now, they need to spend wisely.

"We're paying real close attention to every dime that we spend at this point,” Williams said. “Which is normal, we're cautious about spending, but we're extra cautious right now."

She says the staff at the shelter consists of 19 people who work around the clock and keep the doors open 24 hours a day. Williams says the staff may be willing to work without pay if the funding stops, but there would be compromises.

"I think there are some of that probably would for as long as we could,” Williams said. “But it would be a matter of could we keep the lights on."

Williams says the amount of resources for women seeking shelter is limited throughout Louisiana.

“There are only 15 domestic violence shelters in the state of Louisiana,” Williams said. “And if none of us are getting funding, they will have no place to go. They will have to stay with their abusers or be on the streets."

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