Monroe County accepts $800K grant from Department of Justice

Less grant money for Monroe County to fight domestic violence

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MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. — The Department of Justice is awarding Monroe County an $800,000 grant as part of a program aimed at curbing domestic violence across the country — but will be receiving less than it has in previous years.

Budget cuts at the DOJ’s Office of Violence Against Women are to blame for the $200,000 decrease in the amount of funding the county will receive.

But according to Legal Aid Society of Rochester President Carla Palumbo, her organization is making the most out of everything they receive.

“There was less money allocated for the grant so they tell you this is based on your population — you have a maximum amount that you can apply for and the maximum amount was less than it had been in previous years,” Palumbo said.

Palumbo said that the grant from DOJ is just one piece of a larger pie that the not-for-profit organization provides to people in need of legal services.

“The majority of that funding will support an attorney, might be one and a half attorneys, let’s just say an attorney position and also the coordinator for the Monroe County domestic violence consortium,” Palumbo said.

Legal Aid Society of Rochester will receive $250,000 from the $800,000 DOJ grant.

Monroe County Probation Office Chief Kristine Durante said other not-for-profits like Willow Domestic Violence Center will have to make budget adjustments in order to keep providing the same level of needed services.

“They are an incredible advocacy center; survivors and probation specifically work with them on a number of specific initiatives,” Durante said.

Durante said such working relationships serve as proof that agencies, organizations, and law enforcement are working hand in hand to make every dollar count in Rochester.

“We have a team dedicated to this, for domestic violence offenders. We include electronic monitoring so that we can tell GPS so that if an offender is going in a wrong area or close to a victim we can notify law enforcement immediately,” Durante said.

The grant from DOJ will also provide Central and Western Planned Parenthood $88,000 for a domestic violence advocate position.

Willow Domestic Violence Center will also receive $131,000 for enhanced victim services.