As Government Shutdown Continues, Concerns Grow At WNC Domestic Violence Shelter

Jan 17, 2019

  One impact of the partial federal government shutdown has been the lack of federal grant dollars going to nonprofits around the country. Here’s a look at one in our region - a domestic violence shelter in Franklin.


REACH of Macon and Jackson Country had just been approved for three months of reimbursements from the federal government the day before the notice came that no funding would not be sent until the shutdown was over.  Jennifer Turner-Lynn is the shelter’s assistant director. She says they used savings to cover those three months. Now bills are starting to pile up.


“We almost have to look at it like triage, like when you go to the emergency room,” says Turner-Lynn.

“We have to look at these three families and say okay this is the one that is going to get the food box this week - we shouldn’t have to do that.”


Outside of the shelter, REACH also provides services like court advocacy, job training, a crisis hotline and free food at their community pantry.


“We want to be able to help anyone who comes to us with an immediate need because that is what keeps people outside of those cycles of violence and keeps them from going back into abusive relationships because of money,” says Turner-Lynn.


After the holidays, they see an increase in cases says Turner-Lynn. Last year, the organization helped over 750 domestic and sexual violence survivors and housed over 125 adults and children for over 34,000 nights. REACH also received 641 crisis line calls and provided a total of over 37,000 individual support services for victims and children.


Turner-Lynn says they’re now seeking donations.  Outside of money, she says they need laundry pods, toilet paper and Lysol wipe