By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – With more support coming through grants and fundraisers, Canadian County’s new domestic violence center will get $44,195 in public funds for its second operating year.
Canadian County Commissioners approved a resolution Oct. 18 to dedicate this amount to the Cardinal Point public trust, which operates a family justice center serving domestic violence survivors.
The $44,195 will come from Canadian County’s fiscal year 2022 budget, which takes effect around Nov. 1. It’s exactly $100,000 less than what county commissioners allocated last year.
“We just completed our very first year of operations,” Cardinal Point director Kristie Chandler said. “In that first year, we assisted over 250 individuals. The unique part about that is 32 of those people have kept coming back.
“The challenging part is, we took a 40% cut in our VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) funding, which were the federal funds that allowed us to hire two people.”
The $44,195 budget allocation represents Canadian County Commissioners’ “continued commitment” to Cardinal Point, Assistant District Attorney Tommy Humphries said.
Cardinal Point opened in January to help victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse, and human trafficking. Canadian County has Oklahoma’s fourth family justice center.
A newly awarded $492,576 Office on Violence against Women (OVW) grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will provide financial sustainability for Cardinal Point over the next four years.
“We learned it will take quite of bit of time to get those ‘real’ federal dollars in our hands,” Humphries told county commissioners. “This money represents some ‘cash flow’ for the next quarter” until the grant is received.
Canadian County Commissioners in October 2020 dedicated $144,195 as “start-up” funding for Cardinal Point in the center’s first operating year. Funds also were provided through a $213,229 VOCA grant, but that amount has been reduced significantly for the second year.
ADULTS … AND CHILDREN
Cardinal Point staff and resource partners occupy a 5,000 square foot renovated space inside the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, 7905 E Hwy 66.
Cardinal Point provides a welcoming, safe place where adult and youth domestic violence survivors can go when they are hurting.
Cardinal Point staff partners with agencies like Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, Legal Aid, and the District Attorney’s Office.
Cardinal Point’s inaugural community fund-raising luncheon was Oct. 5 at the Canadian County Expo & Event Center as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“We brought in a little over $14,500,” Chandler reported. “Our board has been talking about another way to get in some donations from the community. We’ll continue working toward that.”
Canadian County Commissioners on Oct. 12, 2020, created the Cardinal Point public trust, appointing these board members:
District Attorney Mike Fields, District 2 Canadian County Commissioner Dave Anderson, Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward, Jacqueline Steyn, and Heidi Oliver.
“We budgeted $44,195 in our fiscal year 2022 budget to help sustain a trust that we created,” Anderson said. “I know we all want to see Cardinal Point succeed. It was the intent that Cardinal Point would seek outside funding. They’ve done that.”
The need for Cardinal Point’s services is apparent based on client numbers, Canadian County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart added.
“We are still the fastest-growing county and have a lot of citizens to take care of,” the District 3 county commissioner said.
Meanwhile, District 1 County Commissioner Marc Hader said he hopes some philanthropic benefactors will eventually step up so Canadian County won’t have to provide public funds for Cardinal Point’s operations.
THIS AND THAT …
In other action at its weekly meeting Oct. 18, Canadian County Commissioners approved:
- A petition to annex unincorporated property to the Green Valley Rural Water District (see full story in upcoming edition).
- Conducting interviews with at least three qualified companies to conduct county bridge inspections.
- Awarding a $312,463 contract to the lone bidder Cornerstone Detention Products to make upgrades to 72 detention door locks at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center.
- A $104,660 construction project for bridges at Airport Road and 220th Street in District 1. Railroad Yard (RRY) Services LLC was previously awarded the low bid.
- A memorandum of understanding between the Canadian County Health Department and Yukon Public Schools for an autism toddler program, at a cost not to exceed $28,800 in fiscal year 2022. County emergency manager Andrew Skidmore described the benefits of this “incredible” program.