NAMPA — Valley Crisis Center, a shelter in Nampa for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, has halted services for the weekend after a staff walkout Thursday afternoon.
Executive Director Yolanda Matos confirmed the news to the Press-Tribune on Thursday evening at the shelter, which still had a few staff members working but not enough to keep services running. Matos did not want to disclose how many staffers resigned, but said they had become concerned that Valley Crisis Center could no longer “meet their needs.” She said the shelter has been struggling financially for a while.
“I think they panicked,” Matos said. “Actually, I know they panicked.”
Eight women and 15 children staying at the shelter were moved to another undisclosed location for the weekend while Matos meets with the Valley Crisis board of directors and tries to figure out what to do, she said. But she stressed that she wasn’t giving up.
“I will be in the office tomorrow starting all over again and I will be back on Monday and I will be back every day until we get back on track,” Matos said. “It just means we have to change avenues and have to come up with some new approaches.”
Federal money has “dried up” recently, and the center has been trying to find dollars, she said. At the end of June, two Valley Crisis Center workers staged a hunger strike to raise funds for the struggling shelter .
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the sequestration budget cuts have hurt domestic violence programs like Valley Crisis across the country. Nonprofit organizations have already seen decreases in personal donations and funding from local and state entities, and sequestration has caused further damage, they say.
Matos said while the shelter appreciates donations of supplies, what they are in need of most is monetary donations. She added that volunteers may be needed to help fill gaps, and said she will eventually rehire, starting with night staff.
“I can’t imagine not having this resource here for the community,” Matos said.
“... So I’ll be here tomorrow.”