The Ottumwa Courier

February 14, 2013

Crisis Center asks for letters of support

Executive director plans to attach letters to grant application

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — There’s been a total reorganization of victim services in Iowa, and Cheryl Brown hopes people will write letters of support for the local crisis center.

Brown, the executive director of the Crisis Center & Women’s Shelter in Ottumwa, said she’s also hoping those in programs and other community agencies and groups will write letters to attach to the grant she’s working on.

“An effective letter of support will describe the collaboration that you have had with our organization, the importance of domestic violence shelter and services in our region, the long-standing relationships within our communities, ways that we can share resources and others you may think about,” Brown noted in her letter of request to supporters.

She also said Jefferson County is now part of the Crisis Center’s service area.

“This is my first request for support, but it won’t be my last as we move forward in reorganization and prepare for the future of victim services in Iowa,” Brown said.

State officials have divided Iowa into six sections and met with the directors of each region to discuss how each area will be handled.

“The plan we came up with is to have more urban-based services than rural-based ones,” Brown said. “As for the crisis intervention service, the plan is for them to apply for shelter and sexual abuse assistance for nine rural counties.”

Brown also noted the Crisis Center has been serving Ottumwa and the surrounding area for 34 years. She said it’s been a “huge fundamental change” in providing services when you have to divide it up. But yet, they’ve had to cover it all for so long.

“The Crisis Center will do a lot of education about the changes. We’re still here, still doing services,” she said. “Now I need strong letters of support from individuals, programs and other community agencies and groups to attach to our grant.”

Brown said the Crisis Center is sending in two applications. One is for shelter services and the other is for comprehensive domestic abuse services. CIS in Oskaloosa will applying to provide sexual assault services and shelter.

“CIS in Des Moines will apply for Polk, Warren, Marion and Jasper counties for comprehensive domestic abuse services and shelter,” she said.

Brown also said an effective letter of support will describe the collaboration the writer has had with Crisis Center and the importance of domestic violence shelter and services in the surrounding region.

For your information

Letters can be sent to Cheryl Brown at P.O. Box 446, Ottumwa, Iowa 52501. The letters are needed by Feb. 18 and will be attached to the application.

Brown also said letters can be addressed to Ms. Donna Phillips, Administrator, CVAD, 321 E. 12th St., Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

For more information, contact the shelter at 641-683-1750 or send a fax to 641-683-4112.