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Jasper women's shelter struggles to stay open
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
The manager of the women's shelter in Jasper, is determined to keep the doors open despite losing half of its funding.
Shelter operators say closing their doors could mean the difference between life and death.
There's only five women left at the Piney Woods women's shelter in Jasper, one week ago there were 15.
"Sad enough, during the night, a couple of them went back to the abusive relationship, so that kind of shows the desperation and the need that this place has got to offer them the security," Wanda Whitcomb, shelter manager says.
Now, the shelter itself is in a desparate situation.
Whitcomb says it's lost half its funding and the shelter is struggling to remain open.
"Through December 31, they said $17,000 is what we needed," a sum of money Whitcomb says will be hard to come up with by the deadline.
A woman who stayed at the shelter, "Trisha", heard about the cuts.
"It freaked me out, I said what can I do to help, because I know how this shelter and the people in this shelter have saved my life," Trisha says.
One year ago, she walked into this home broken.
"I decided I needed something different, I was miserable and I wanted to die and I made a change and came here," Trisha said.
This victim of abuse is afraid of what could happen if the doors close.
"If this shelter is not available, how many women are going to have to die becuase they have no where to go," Trisha said.
The shelter offers women a refuge from abusers, a chance to start a new life.
"We need to be here because the abuse will get worse in their homes and the children are learning the abusive behavior," Whitcomb says.
"Helping those women become a responsible productive members of society get out of their situation in turn helps our own community," Trisha said.
A call to the community to give the shelter and the women here, hope for the future.
"Please, help keep our shelter open, there's so many women who don't even know about this place, don't even know it exists." Trisha says.
"Keep our doors open for these victims and let them become survivors," Whitcomb said.
The shelter manager says they've received some donations from the Jasper community, but still need funding.