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State forced to release $1.4M to YWCA York

Greg Gross
505-5433/@ggrossyd
Rick Azzaro
YWCA York

The YWCA York's programs to help victims of domestic violence will get a slight reprieve from the months-long budget impasse in the form of some federal funding.

Earlier this week the state released more than $1.4 million in federal funding for domestic violence shelters after officials learned they are required to do so.

Rick Azzaro, chief services officer with the YWCA, said it's unknown exactly how much money the organization at 320 E. Market St. in York City will get, but any incoming funding is well welcomed.

"It's not going to be a windfall," he said. "And we haven't gotten it yet."

Nonprofit agencies across Pennsylvania have been making do without much-needed state and federal funding for the more than five months that the state budget impasse has been dragging on. The YWCA York had to open a line of credit to keep afloat.

Locally: Whatever amount of federal funding comes the YWCA York's way won't be much and will only help fund its services for just a short time.

It costs about $1.5 million for the organization to operate its Access-York program, which works to eliminate domestic violence and offer support to victims of it, and its Victim's Assistance Center, which provide crisis intervention to victims.

YWCA York relies on the state and federal governments to cover about 80 percent of the cost to run the programs, Azzaro said.

In a typical year, the organization helps about 300 people through its rape crisis center, about 500  involved in domestic violence situations and reaches 20,000 people through prevention initiatives, he said.

Azzaro noted the incoming money isn't taxpayer dollars but from the Victims of Crime Act Crime Victims Fund, created with fines paid by people convicted of federal crimes.

"Of course it is a relief... but in order to offer the full array of services, we need a state budget to be passed," Azzaro said. "Time is ticking."

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.