By Conrad Dudderar
Canadian County officials showed their ongoing commitment this week to a family justice center that helps domestic violence survivors.
Some $25,000 has been earmarked for Cardinal Point in Canadian County’s fiscal year 2023 general fund budget.
Canadian County Commissioners voted 3-0 to dedicate these funds for the Cardinal Point public trust. Cardinal Point operates on the federal fiscal year – Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
“This is an action we’ve taken over the past few years to ensure the financial success of the trust we created,” Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson said.
This marks the third fiscal year that commissioners have provided public funds to support operations at the family justice center – but the amount is declining as Cardinal Point seeks other funding sources.
“In years past, we’ve budgeted more than $25,000,” Anderson explained. “We’ve been moving in the direction of making them more ‘stand-alone’.”
Some $44,195 in Canadian County taxpayer funds was allocated in FY22.
Commissioners dedicated $144,195 as “start-up” funding for Cardinal Point’s first operating year in FY21.
Cardinal Point opened in January 2021 to help victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse, and human trafficking. The Canadian County facility became Oklahoma’s fourth family justice center.
Through the first three quarters of its fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022), “on average we have engaged with about 35 new survivors each month and provided connection to our partner agencies for the specialized services they are seeking,” Cardinal Point Director Kristie Chandler said.
Cardinal Point provides a welcoming, safe place where adult and youth domestic violence survivors can go when they are hurting.
COLLECTIVE IMPACT MODEL
Cardinal Point continues to build a collective impact model with these on-site partners:
The Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, Legal Aid, and the District Attorney’s Office.
“Recently SafeCare, a program of NorthCare, engaged with us and utilizes our flex space when needed,” Chandler added.
Cardinal Point staff and partner agencies occupy a 5,000 square foot space inside the juvenile center, 7905 E Hwy 66.
Other sustainable funding sources include Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal grants.
Cardinal Point also will benefit from an “Honoring Hope” luncheon this fall during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Canadian County Commissioners on Oct. 12, 2020, created the Cardinal Point public trust.
Trust board members are Chairman Mike Fields, Vice Chairman Marc Hader, Secretary Heidi Oliver, Jackie Steyn, and Kevin Ward.
Fields is the district attorney, Hader is the District 1 county commissioner and Ward is the undersheriff.