Commerce awards $7.2 million to add services for victims and survivors of crime

 Funding provided under the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) will address unmet need for services in communities throughout Washington state

OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) has awarded more than $7.2 million in grants to 22 organizations throughout the state serving victims and survivors of crime. Applicants in communities where services are currently unavailable or inadequate to meet needs received priority for this specific funding provided to states under the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).

Commerce received 77 applications. Final grant amounts range from $13,313 to $400,000 for the two-year award period. The 22 applications funded this round are:

  • API Chaya, Seattle, WA
  • Brigid Collins House, Bellingham, WA
  • CIELO Project/Radio Ranch, Olympia, WA
  • City of Seattle, Aging and Disability Services Division, Area Agency on Aging
  • Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center, Everett, WA
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County, Bellingham, WA
  • Emergency Support Shelter, Longview, WA
  • Grant County (dba New Hope), Ephrata, WA
  • Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation
  • King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Seattle, WA
  • Lavender Rights Project, Seattle, WA
  • LifeWire, Bellevue, WA
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Seattle, WA
  • Pizza Klatch, Lacey, WA
  • Rainbow Center, Tacoma, WA
  • Refugee Women’s Alliance, Seattle, WA
  • Safeplace, Olympia, WA
  • Tacoma Community House, Tacoma, WA
  • YWCA of Clark County
  • YWCA of Pierce County
  • YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish
  • YWCA of Spokane

Find the complete list of individual grant awards here.

“Providing people with resources and support to assist their journey from crime victim to a position of safety, security and productivity is central to our mission of strengthening communities,” said Commerce Director Dr. Lisa Brown.  “This funding helps ensure a complete system of services for vulnerable children, adults and families throughout Washington state.”

In addition to focusing on communities with gaps in services, priority is also given to proposals addressing the following specific needs:

  • Culturally and community-specific services
  • Housing assistance
  • Mobile advocacy for domestic violence survivors
  • Comprehensive, longer-term advocacy for sexual assault survivors
  • Services for victims of hate crimes
  • Services to boys and men of color
  • Services to communities of color
  • Services for child physical abuse and neglect
  • Services for individuals over age 65

VOCA provides money to states to provide specific services that include responding to the emotional, psychological, or physical needs of crime victims; helping victims stabilize their lives after victimization; helping victims understand and participate in the civil and criminal justice systems, and restoring a measure of security and safety for the victim.

The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) at Commerce serves as the state administrator of federal VOCA assistance funds. Washington’s VOCA State Plan guides funding decisions and is intended to complement the existing network of services available throughout the state. In 2018, OCVA conducted a survey and statewide stakeholder meeting to solicit input on continuation of the current VOCA plan. Both affirmed that the priorities identified in the 2015-2019 VOCA planning process should be extended through 2023.

The grants announced this week are for two years. Commerce and The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) will issue another round of funding for similar purposes in the spring of 2020.

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