Richland County Domestic Violence Shelter Almost Closed Last Week

Jul 19, 2017

Illinois' two-year budget stalemate is still having an effect, even though lawmakers approved a spending plan that is getting the cash flowing again.

Linda Bookwalter heads up Stopping Woman Abuse Now, or SWAN, in Olney. The domestic violence shelter and counseling service came very close to shutting down during the budget crisis. She says even now, as money is starting to trickle in, it's hard to keep all the programs afloat.
"It's very difficult to deal with some aspects of domestic violence when you can't get them stabilized. Whether they're on meth, or alcohol, or something like that - if you can't get those issues stabilized, then you can't even begin to address some of the other issues."

Bookwalter told Illinois Public Media's The 21st Show her agency couldn't take out a loan to bridge the gap between state funds and grants - she says the money wasn't available to pay the interest those loans would have brought.

SWAN was among the agencies left out of stop-gap funding during last fiscal year. Bookwalter says they were prepared to close July 10 if there was no resolution to the budget stalemate. The stalemate ended July 6.