Supervisor Chan Plugs Shelter's Budget Gap

Steers $50,000 in county funds to Building Futures for Women & Children, working with the City of San Leandro and other benefactors to keep its $2.5 million budget intact.


Building Futures for Women and Children is the sort of agency you hope you never need but is a godsend for women who get battered by a partner or are about to lose their living quarters and land in a car or on the street.

It's been around for nearly 25 years. Last year it assisted about 700 women and children in the first category, and helped roughly the same number find places to live, according to executive director Liz Varela, a San Leandro resident.

The agency, which is based in San Leandro, employs about 50 people and has a budget of roughly $2.5 million.

The worse the economy, the greater the demand for its services.

At its current pace the agency's 24-hour crisis line is on track to respond to 9,200 calls in 2012 – a fourth record breaking year, according to Supervisor Wilma Chan. Its three shelters consistently operate at 100% capacity, Chan said.

Amidst this need the agency was looking at a $100,000 budget shortfall, caused by a drop in private donations in a bad economy.

Now that gap has been plugged.

About $30,000 came from a variety of fundraising efforts. The city of San Leandro kicked in another $20,000 of local taxpayer funds.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Chan steered $50,000 of county tax revenues toward the agency and made up the last of its shortfall.

“Domestic violence is a crime that impacts everyone, and that means we all have to be part of the solution,” Chan said. “County residents can do their part by financially supporting women’s shelters and organizations."

(Alameda County residents who are being abused, or know someone who is being abused, are urged to contact Building Futures at 1-866-A-WAY-OUT, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.)

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