Working Against Violence Inc., a nonprofit agendy that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, may get $100,000 from Rapid City at the urging of the police department.
The $100,000 would be for four years, between 2005 and 2008, of missed $25,000 payments the city budgeted but never disbursed to WAVI. The proposal would release the $100,000 as a supplemental budget item in 2013.
In a memo to the Legal & Finance Committee, Police Chief Steve Allender said the city's cost to provide minimal services for domestic violence victim protection and coordination — services WAVI now supplies — would be $400,000 a year. Giving WAVI $25,000 a year out of the police budget, as the city did in 2012, is far cheaper, he said. The nonprofit agency is set to receive $30,000 in 2013.
The Legal & Finance Committee will consider the request at its meeting at 12:30 p.m. today at the administration building at 300 Sixth St.
Mary Corbine, executive director of WAVI, said she was pleased to hear that the police department sees the value in the work her organization is doing.
"The police department recognizes that WAVI provides a vital service, that without us they would not be able to provide to our community," she said.
According to the city, WAVI did not receive the four payments because city policy at the time required funding recipients to submit invoices or request the money. WAVI didn't do that and "we never did pay them," city finance officer Pauline Sumption said. "We have since changed that process."
In his memo, Allender said the amount of money the city provides to WAVI represents just a fraction of what the organization spends in a year.
In addition, Allender's memo says WAVI will face budget shortfalls of $80,000 in 2012 and $100,000 in 2013 as federal funding and other revenue run dry for reasons that WAVI has no control over, such as the reclassification of Pennington County as no longer rural and the expiration of grants from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.
WAVI is working to build an endowment and would like the city to step in with additional funds to help, Corbine said.
"WAVI is hoping to receive more money to help us provide these services, because if we're not there to provide them, the city probably can't provide them as well or to as many people as we provide them," she said.
The police department refers about 1,000 domestic abuse victims — mostly women and children — each year to WAVI.
"It means safety, security, life-saving. Without our emergency shelter, when there's a domestic violence incident ... where would law enforcement take them without WAVI?" Corbine said.