EMMONAK, Alaska (KTUU) - The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA) unanimously voted to supply the Emmonak Women's Shelter (EWS) with emergency grant funding through the remainder of fiscal year 2018.
The CDVSA Board of Directors convened for a special meeting on Feb. 1, after they were notified in late-January that EWS was closing "due to a lack of funds."
"Because of its unique location and high number of services provided, this closure created a critical gap in domestic violence and sexual assault services in Emmonak and surrounding villages," reads an Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) statement.
The EWS serves a total of 14 villages; furthermore, the only other shelter in the service area is the Tundra Women's Coalition (TWC) in Bethel. According to the department, the closure of EWS would put a "critical strain" on resources available at TWC.
Currently, EWS is not a CDVSA-funded program. But the emergency grant from the state will help keep the facility open until summer.
"The CDVSA will work closely with both TWC and EWS to provide for a smooth process that will fund EWS through June 30, 2018," according to DPS.
EWS was established in 1984, and it provides a wide range of services, including:
• Immediate safety (shelter),
• Crisis intervention,
• Children’s services,
• Education and support to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault,
• Court accompaniment,
• And support service for local communities, schools, Tribal Councils, city governments and other human service providers.
According to DPS, the shelter was designed and decorated to emulate a Yup’ik home. EWS includes three bedrooms, a children's playroom, a common kitchen and a living room area.
"EWS is the only shelter in Alaska that is in a village setting; providing support and services from a Yup’ik context and with staff who speak and understand the Native languages of the area," concludes the department.