Seven months after being named one of the nation's best programs for victims of violence, SafePlace is slashing jobs, cutting services and closing one of its emergency shelters because of money problems.
The Austin nonprofit organization expects to lose $1.3 million by the end of 2005 because of shrinking public and private revenue, said Rebecca Lightsey, SafePlace's executive director. That reduction, combined with the group's annual need to raise $1.5 million for operating expenses, means the nonprofit would have to generate $2.8 million to maintain current services through 2005. So SafePlace is cutting back.
In February, the group plans to fold its single women's shelter into its family shelter, reducing capacity from 122 to 100. Officials are laying off 19 people and reducing services, including counseling. The waiting list for sexual assault victims seeking counseling already is three months long. Children wait four to six months.