Lack of Federal Funding Could Impact Community Groups Helping Victims of Violent Crimes

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Community organizations in Des Moines want violence in the city to end, but they need proper funding to help curb the violence.

Congress is considering the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act. It would sustain federal funding for advocacy programs. Iowa does not currently offer money for services that aide victims of violent crimes.

“The state of Iowa does not appropriate any money for these services at all,” said Luana Nelson-Brown, the executive director Iowa Coalition for Collective Change. “It does appropriate $5 million for advocacy services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, but no money comes from the state for those advocacy services for survivors of homicide and other violent crimes.”

Since federal funds are at stake, the coalition plans to head to the Iowa Capitol and ask state legislators to set money aside for programs dedicated to helping victims of violent crimes.

Meanwhile, State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad is planning to release a comprehensive plan to combat violence in the community. He said he wants to work with immigrant communities in the area.

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