It boggles my mind that for less than it costs to house one inmate for one year, they provide assistance to hundreds of victims and victims families and no one is willing to fund them.
A leading advocacy group for victims of crime could be forced to shut its doors due to dried-up funding.
The Ottawa-based Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, which has been a national voice for victims of violence, fraud and abuse since 1992, has been told the cash-strapped Canadian Police Association is pulling its funding within weeks.
Executive director Heidi Illingworth sent a letter to supporters Tuesday warning of the risk of closure and calling on the federal government to pick up the unexpected shortfall.
Calling him a “personal supporter” of the CRCVC, Illingworth also wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper requesting funding that amounts to roughly the same cost as the incarceration of a single federal prisoner for one year.
The organization’s total shoestring budget is $116,000, with the bulk, about $92,000, coming from the CPA. The federal government currently kicks in about $19,000 a year.
The CRCVC helps between 300-500 new victims a year on top of its 200 long-term clients. Illingworth said there is no time to launch a fundraising campaign because they received short notice from the CPA, which has also been forced to lay off staff members.
“It’s a very, very sad prospect to think of our office closing,” she said, adding many victims and their families will be left in the lurch.