Marjaree Mason Center Funding Problems Continue

October 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
When Governor Schwarzenegger announced he was restoring funding to domestic violence shelters statewide Wednesday, that was only part of the story.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marjaree Mason Center Top Ten Professional Women - Click here
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Thursday, Action News learned it's only a few months of funding restore, out of a five year contract to fund shelters. This includes Fresno's Marjaree Mason center. Fresno's emergency shelter is still looking at huge holes in their budget.

Fresno's Marjaree Mason Center honored the area's top ten professional women today in downtown Fresno. Builders, educators a police sergeant and a superior court judge were among the honorees.

The event is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Marjaree Mason Center which serves over 900 women and children every year who have been victims of domestic violence. But underlying the celebratory mood the center's executive director was wondering how she and her staff were going to continue to serve the victims of domestic violence.

Pam Kallsen, Executive Director Marjaree Mason Center said, "It is not a full restoration of our funds. The bill that he signed yesterday was only for seven months of funding in a five year contract that we had with the state of California. So we're only getting $160 thousand dollars out of over a million dollar contract that we had with the state of California."

Many Valley residents have made personal gifts to the center to help offset the cuts in funding. But the need is huge. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said his officers are seeing an increasing number of cases of domestic violence.

Dyer said, "When you consider the fact that about 75 percent of all domestic violence occurs in the presence of children? it's so important to get those children out of that environment. And you can't do that unless you have a shelter to go to. That's why the Marjaree Mason Center is so important. Currently there are twenty empty beds at the center because there is no money to hire extra staff."



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