Livingston parish shelter looks to community for help keeping doors open

Photo provided by staff
Monday, December 9, 2013 - 7:08pm

Livingston Parish has one of the biggest domestic abuse problems in the state, and now the only emergency shelter is fighting to keep its doors open. Keeping the doors of the Women Outreaching Women shelter open every year can be a struggle with budgets changing from year to year.

"Just because one year you get a certain amount, the next year when they re-allocate the money into the budget it's a different amount," explained Heather Boley, executive director of WOW.

So the organization has turned to the community it serves to help.

"We would be closed, if we didn't have the community members that have stepped up thus far we would definitely be closed," explained Boley.

Executive Director Heather Boley said they do need more people to step up and donate.

"Instead of living day to day, we're living month to month and quarter to quarter. So it gets better every day with making changes," added Boley.

As a survivor of domestic abuse Brenda McDaniel knows first hand just how important these resources are.

"A lot of women who are in domestic violence situations, they either have no family, it's kept quiet, so it's undercover you know. A lot of people don't know what's going on in the situation and if they do lots of times they don't want to get involved,” said McDaniel.

McDaniel now works with WOW, it is the only shelter in Livingston Parish and the small staff knows if they can't find more community support the consequences could be devastating.

"To stop and think that there would be nowhere, that these women would have no where to turn to, that's even scarier because all that does is put them right back in that cycle. They have no where to go and that's really sad," said McDaniel.

The staff at the shelter are asking community members to become a part of their platinum sponsor program where several community members pledge to donate $10.00 a month for the entire year.


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