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VOICe gets funds to keep legal services going

June 25, 2015 News Extra

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Butler County’s Victim Outreach Intervention Center will continue to represent victims in Butler County Court despite losing $200,000 in state grant funding.

VOICe director Heidi Artman said the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence has given the organization a 3-month extension of funding.

That is an extra $50,000, Artman said, which will keep VOICe’s legal services funded through September. Without that extension, the organization’s funding for legal services would have run out July 1 to disastrous effect, she said.

“Closing cases is not an option for VOICe. This service is much too valuable,” Artman said.

The organization offers confidential services to all victims of crime, though domestic violence and violent crime in general represent the bulk of its work.

The money also will help unlock a $35,500 pledge approved this month by the Butler County Bar Association.

The association said the pledge, which was approved June 10, was contingent upon VOICe receiving “sufficient funding” from other sources for legal staffing of its protection from abuse services.

VOICe also has sent proposals requesting funding to foundations, and a law firm is spearheading a fundraising effort to raise $150,000 to $175,000 by September.

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