TIFTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families recently announced that it has awarded Family Violence Prevention and Services Act formula grants totaling $2,561,283 to support Georgia domestic violence victims and organizations, which will benefit Tift County.

According to a press release, a total of $94.5 million has been awarded to 56 states and territories to fund and manage local domestic violence programs. State and territorial formula grants make up 70 percent of FVPSA appropriations and are distributed based on a minimum award of $600,000, with the remaining funds to be allotted to each state through a population-based formula.

Also, $13.5 million has been awarded to 56 domestic violence coalitions to expand and enhance statewide and territorial responses to domestic violence victims and organizations with an emphasis on systems reform, public policy, training and technical assistance, prevention and public awareness. Grantees will each receive awards of $241,000.

“ACF is proud to be partnering with communities to identify solutions and support services addressing the traumatic impact of domestic violence,” said Bill Bentley, associate commissioner of the Family and Youth Services Bureau. “Domestic violence coalitions, local domestic violence programs, tribes and culturally specific community-based organizations are all an integral part of any coordinated response to domestic violence.”

Nancy Bryan, executive director of Ruth’s Cottage and The Patticake House, said the grant is the same “pot” of funds they have received each year. She said their award has been $29,898 and they plan to apply again to receive that same amount.

"For Ruth’s Cottage, we use the funds to address targeting the underserved populations of our judicial circuit. For us that means reaching out to those in rural areas, teens and Hispanic populations," she said.

She said the funds support staff to do this work and also for the materials they use, including items they give away at community events such as Arts in Black Festival, La Fiesta del Pueblo and those in their outer counties, such as the Peanut, Fire Ant and Sweet Potato festivals.

"Going where rural or minority populations might be gathered," Bryan commented. "We are currently using some of these funds to create a new joint website to replace our old ones."

She added, "We are very grateful for FVSPA funds, which allow us to do the important work of outreach. We can’t help those who don’t know we are here."

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