CLEARFIELD – Domestic violence victims and children will benefit from a $289,196 Department of Justice Safe Haven Grant that has been awarded to Clearfield County.
At Tuesday’s commissioner’s meeting, Nancy Lombardo, director of the Clearfield County League on Social Services, said the grant will allow the county to provide a safe visitation and exchange program to domestic violence victims and their children.
The county, she said, will partner with the Crossroads Project, PASSAGES Inc., the county’s Victim/Witness program, Judge Paul E. Cherry and area police agencies and police chiefs as part of the safe visitation and exchange program. The Safe Haven Grant will run over a three-year period from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2016.
During its first year, Lombardo said the Safe Haven Grant is for establishing an advisory board and planning safety measures. Then, she said the grant is for the implementation of the safe visitation and exchange program during its second and into its third year.
Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen, chair, said the Safe Haven Grant will provide a much-needed service in Clearfield County. Commissioner Mark B. McCracken added it is important to keep domestic violence victims and children safe by providing an atmosphere that prevents them from being abused again.
In addition, Margie Rosselli, Victim/Witness coordinator, said the county has received a $10,981 increase in its state allocation for the Victim/Witness program. The increase, she said, was due to the state getting an increase in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding, which the Pennsylvania Commission of Crime & Delinquency announced in August.
According to her, the county was supposed to receive $86,606 for its Victim/Witness program. However, she said its new allocation will be $97,587 for the same project period of July 1 through June 30, 2015. VOCA funds, she said, allow the Victim/Witness staff to provide direct services to victims of crime, which include crisis and follow-up counseling to victims and their families, criminal justice support and advocacy, etc.