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Countywide : Program for Victims of Abuse Will Be Resumed

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After a six-month lull, Safety Net, a program that provides emergency shelter and care for battered parents and their children is scheduled to begin operating again this week, officials said.

John Flores, executive director of the Orange County Community Development Council (CDC), said the program will provide clients with up to seven days of emergency shelter and meals or food boxes.

“The abused will also receive emotional support and family crisis counseling, which includes daily contact ,” by the staff and “referral to professional counselors as needed,” he said.

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Most of the clients are women, said Judi Naslund, program coordinator, but “we have some men.”

Safety Net provides emergency housing at various motels around the county. The names and locations of the shelters are kept confidential to protect clients. Counseling is done individually at the shelter locations.

The CDC will provide more than $50,000 for the first year of operations, Flores said. In addition, Safety Net will receive $40,000 in state funds.

Naslund operated the program for 1 1/2 years through a private agency until some funding sources dried up six months ago, she said. She then “spent the summer looking for financial support and finally found CDC,” she said.

The Women’s Transitional Living Center, a shelter for battered parents, will be working closely with Safety Net to provide a 24-hour crisis line. On weekdays, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., parents may call the Safety Net office at 547-6801. After hours the emergency number is 992-1931.

The Women’s Transitional Living Center also will provide overnight placement for Safety Net clients, Naslund said.

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Safety Net’s contract calls for it to serve 18 parents and 33 children every month, Naslund said. However, when the program was forced to close last year, it was serving 30 to 40 families per month-- “the real need,” she said. Naslund said she is seeking additional funding to provide “whatever service is necessary.”

“Battered women are often put on a waiting list due to the great need, and many women have received a few more beatings “ before they received shelter, Naslund said.

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