By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A grant fund has been established for Canadian County’s domestic violence center.
This was accomplished through a resolution approved by Canadian County Commissioners, which had applied for a $492,576 federal grant on behalf of the Cardinal Point family justice center.
This designated fund is for the Office of Violence Against Women’s Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking grant.
Now in its second operating year, a Canadian County trust governing Cardinal Point was awarded the federal grant this fall to provide the center with financial sustainability.
“We applied for the grant to reimburse Cardinal Point for its expenses related to services provided to survivors of domestic violence,” said District 2 County Commissioner Dave Anderson, a board member of Cardinal Point’s trust.
“This is a step we need to take to create an account for the processing of those federal grant funds.”
This grant, provided through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, will be accepted over four years to support operations at the Cardinal Point family justice center.
Cardinal Point provides a welcoming, safe place where adult and youth domestic violence and sexual assault victims can go when they are hurting.
Canadian County has Oklahoma’s fourth family justice center serving survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child abuse.
Cardinal Point since Jan. 25 has occupied a 5,000 square foot space inside the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center (CCJC), 7905 E Highway 66.
An advocate from the domestic violence provider – Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN) – moved in on March 8 and a Canadian County Sheriff’s Office investigator partner moved in March 29.
That was the “official” opening date with Alliance for Hope when family justice center partner agencies were under one roof.
“As the awareness has increased, on average we are seeing about 30 new survivors each month coming in person to Cardinal Point and being connected to our partner agencies for the specialized services they are seeking,” Cardinal Point director Kristie Chandler said.
“And, on average, 10 survivors return each month in person for on-going or follow up services. We interact with survivors and/or referring parties about 65 times each month on the phone, with about half of those contacts being brand new calls in and the other half being follow up contacts.”
Besides the new Office of Violence Against Women grant, Cardinal Point’s primary funding sources include a Victims of Crime Act grant, $44,195 from Canadian County’s fiscal year 2022 budget and donations.
More than $14,500 was collected during an Oct. 5th community fund-raising luncheon as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Cardinal Point trust board members along with Commissioner Anderson are District Attorney Mike Fields, Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward, Jacqueline Steyn, and Heidi Oliver.