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Rape crisis center gets zero funding from city


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A community center is scrambling for funds after finding out Lexington leaders won't give them any money.

Leaders with the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center say last year, the city provided them with $98,000 to help run their shelter, that's roughly 10% of their budget.

The Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center has been around for 40 years, and for one of the first times in those 40, they're scrambling to come up with a way to get almost $100, 000. It's an amount Lexington has provided them in the past.

"The city of Lexington is a compassionate city and I know that the lack of funding for services for rape victims does not reflect the values of this community," said Mae Suramek, Director of BRCC.

Suramek doesn't know what will happen if they don't get $98,000.

"It could mean less staff, it could mean less crisis counselors. It could mean us having limited capacity to train hospital advocates, people to be there for victims when they go to the hospital. It could mean us not being able to staff our crisis hotline, it could mean a number of things that would directly impact the quality and level of services that we can provide. "

City leaders received more than $6,000,000 in agency requests this year, roughly three times the amount they set aside to give to community partners.

The city's Director of Communications released a statement late last week regarding their decision on providing funding to partner agencies, saying -

"This is the first step in a process adopted by Council that becomes final when the budget is approved in June. Agencies will be able to be heard by the Social Services Council Link. This year the city received $6.3 million in requests from agencies for $2.3 million in funding even though we increased the funds available by 20 percent just last year.”

Suramek is asking supporters to sign an online petition, call their council representatives, and ask that they support BRCC. A link to the petition page is provided below.


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