For the second straight year, New York State Senator Greg Ball presented a check for the Putnam/ Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center to cap off National Domestic Violence Month.
Showing up at the center’s headquarters in Mahopac Thursday afternoon, Ball presented a $50,000 state grant to executive director Ann Ellsworth, who said the money would certainly go to good use.
Ellsworth said in an interview the grant is going to help the center enhance its family court project, which would better allow the center to help more domestic violence victims year round. As of result of the grant, Ellsworth was able to hire a bilingual victim advocate and also a part-time victim advocate. Previously, Ellsworth only had one victim advocate.
The enhancement project started last year when Ball presented another $50,000 grant to the center. Ellsworth said if funds weren’t provided this year, those additional advocates would have lost their jobs.
“But now I’m able to continue their employment as well as serve more victims for another year,” Ellsworth said. “So I’m extremely grateful.”
Ellsworth added a bilingual advocate is valuable because Spanish speaking victims also live in Putnam County, but before Ellsworth didn’t have anyone to offer.
“Now I have someone who can speak to them and help them work through their process in their own language so that they can feel more secure,” Ellsworth said.
In a press release, Ball said Ellsworth and her staff do “God’s work” every day by providing a safety net for the community. He went on to say as long as he represents Putnam and northern Westchester, he’d continue to fight in order to deliver grants to organization such as the Women’s Resource Center.
“Domestic violence is an epidemic that must be confronted head on,” Ball said in a statement. “And I couldn’t be happier to once again deliver this grant for their heroic efforts.”
During October, the resource center runs a “Go Purple Campaign” that encourages people to spread the color purple by shining purple lights on buildings or other structures within the county. It also includes wearing purple, which most of Ellsworth’s staff had on last Thursday.
“It’s been busy. Every time I can talk about it, I try to,” Ellsworth said. “It’s a very busy month trying to raise awareness. We try to year round but once a year we try to have a concerted effort so we’ve been out busy every day.”
Ball had previously sponsored and passed legislation that extends the length of stay for residents of domestic violence shelters up to 180 days, an increase of 45 days over the current regulation.