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Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Budget cuts hit New Horizons

  • The New Horizons Crisis Center has gotten the biggest funding cut in its 31 year history, and the Redwood Falls office will be affected.
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  • The New Horizons Crisis Center has gotten the biggest funding cut in its 31 year history, and the Redwood Falls office will be affected.
    “Difficult decisions had to be made. Twenty percent of our budget is gone,” stated Marie Meyers, New Horizons Crisis Center’s Board Chairperson.
    New Horizons Crisis Center’s main funding source is the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of Minnesota.
    In total, OJP awarded $83,596 less in funds starting October 1, from the award New Horizons received last year. The agency’s budget for fiscal year 2012 devoted 73% of its expenses to staff and the remaining 27% expenses to support operating costs.
    To deal with the cut, New Horizons Crisis Center’s educational presentations and prevention programming will be reduced. The agency has prioritized services to victims of crime.
    No funds were awarded for abused children services at New Horizons Crisis Center or any other area agency.
    “To think that OJP defunded abused children services in our area is shocking. When our agency received this news, we just couldn’t believe that our kids wouldn’t be a priority,” stated Jennifer Bruns, New Horizons Crisis Center’s Executive Director.
    The agency served 234 victims of child abuse last year, which was a 26% increase since 2009. New Horizons Crisis Center has had an Abused Children program for 18 years.
    Education is also a big part of New Horizons Crisis Center’s mission. Denise Kerkhoff, administrator of the Redwood Falls office, spend much of her time on the road educating.
    “Denise is very active in giving presentations in Redwood County for the last 18 years,” said Bruns. “All of the staff will have to take on more duties, including Denise. She’ll be really active doing education, so she’ll have fewer office hours.”
    Last year the agency provided 347 presentations to 12,888 participants and included such presentations as personal body safety that taught local children about sexual abuse prevention and bullying.
    These presentations taught students about where to get help if they became a target.
    “Our agency will no longer have the capacity to provide as many presentations,” stated Bruns.
    “This will be a change, and change can be a challenge, but we will get through this,” stated Meyers.
    Bruns continued, “We will do what we do best – serving our local communities.”
    If anyone has questions about services or would like to get involved with New Horizons, Bruns encouraged people to contact her at either nhcc@iw.net or 507.532.5764.

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