I can only imagine what PA Gov. Corbett would say: “Hey, work on your uppercut! Don’t be such a girl!” Because he’s so good at that tough-love thing:
Philadelphia already doesn’t have enough beds in domestic abuse shelters to serve a glut of demand, andGov. Tom Corbett‘s proposed 20 percent cut to state social services funding will make matters worse still, likely requiring shelters to reduce their services. Then, there’s General Assistance, the $205-per-month, nine-month cash payout that abused women can use to help them get back on their feet after leaving their abusers. As CP’s Daniel Denvir reported, the loss of GA to recovering addicts could make thousands homeless. The impact on abused women is just as terrifying: It could discourage them from leaving their abusers.
Elise Scioscia, strategic initiatives assistant at Women Against Abuse, which operates Philly’s only emergency shelter, says GA is “a source of last resort for a lot of citizens, but especially women and children that are fleeing their homes and don’t have the ability to take resources with them, or have the luxury of time to wait out other resources so they can start rebuilding their lives.”
“[GA is] obviously not enough to live on to provide housing, but it may deter people from leaving. Resources are a big reason people stay with domestic violence perpetrators, so this could prohibit a person from being able to leave a very dangerous situation.” Scioscia says given that their shelter is a 90-day program, and waiting lists for transitional housing are much longer than that, women and children are already vulnerable.
Another Corbett move — rolling human services funding into a single block grant before slashing it by a fifth — has introduced yet another level of uncertainty for organizations that serve women in crisis. “We’ve already trimmed our staff,” Scioscia says. “We’re operating on such a skeletal level that what we’re going to have to cut are services.”