Money meant to help local domestic violence victims sat unused for years

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by Russell Kinsaul / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 5:40 PM

 (KMOV) -- Thousands of dollars intended to help victims of domestic abuse didn’t help anyone because it sat unused in an account for two years.

Officials are saying the reason was miscommunication when the agency that doled out the money for years folded and the county asked another one to do it.

The $13,000 was supposed to go to shelters in Franklin County but after the agency disbursed money to the shelters in 2011, they believed they had to wait for the county to ask them to do it again.

Now that the county auditor found the unused money, there’s a rush to try to get the money out to help those in need before the end of the year.

Cathy Covington helps women and children in a crisis at the domestic violence agency, ALIVE, also known as Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments. Last year, the agency took $4,800 calls on its crisis hotline from Franklin County residents.

In Franklin County, there’s a $5 fee tacked onto a marriage license that goes into a domestic violence fund. County officials asked the Franklin County Children and Families Community Resource Board to take over disbursement of the funds since it already doled out money from a quarter-cent sales tax for children’s services.

"Somehow there was a miscommunication about the money being there and not being used. They are working on that diligently,” said Covington.

Mike Schatz served three decades as a deputy sheriff and worked with ALIVE to help them get the money they need.

"I got to work with agencies like ALIVE.  If there's any way possible we can get that money disbursed to them this year, I’d like to see that done,” said Schatz.

There was a deadline of October to apply for money from the domestic violence fund but county commissioners say they’ll check with the county counselor to see if there’s a way to get the money out to agencies without having to wait till next year.

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