en English
en Englishes Spanishpt Portuguesear Arabicht Haitian Creolezh-TW Chinese (Traditional)

, Advocate

Your Local Online News Source for Over 3 Decades

Portal To Hope Seeks Public’s Help: Support VOCA Bridge Act

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  Portal To Hope (PTH), the award-winning nonprofit organization serving domestic violence crime victims in Everett, Lynn, Medford, Malden, Winthrop and neighboring Massachusetts communities, is facing a 27% budget cut effective July 1st. Already operating as a small-funded nonprofit, PTH relies on $179,900 in federal funding from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to serve an average of 900 people each year.

  Drastic cuts to VOCA will leave PTH to operate on $131,490 in fiscal year 2023 – a severe reduction.  Considering that PTH spends less than 5% on administrative costs where its management team already volunteers time to carry-out administrative functions in order to dedicate funds for direct care service programs, the 27% budget cut will strap the organization and eliminate its Emergency Shelter program.  “In talking with the public, they are as perplexed as we are as to why government keeps cutting funding to agencies serving some of our most vulnerable community members – especially when they realize all the helpful services that we provide,” said Linda Morris, a survivor who has been sharing her time as a Victim Advocate at PTH for seventeen years.  “As a survivor whose own life was impacted by a family member killed by her abuser, I struggle to understand why PTH and similar agencies are forced to beg for funding every year,” said Morris.

  VOCA funding is administered by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA); and MOVA announced that 124 programs and 220 victim services jobs across the Commonwealth are impacted by the drastic cuts to VOCA funds.  “A state investment is critically needed to sustain and stabilize victim services across the Commonwealth to continue supporting victims and survivors,” announced MOVA.

  PTH’s Founder, Deborah Fallon, a survivor of violent crime, is appreciative of the work that MOVA and the Victim and Witness Assistance Board (VWAB), which is chaired by Attorney General Maura Healey, are doing in partnership with the Massachusetts Legislature to bridge the funding gap via the “VOCA Bridge Act”. “MOVA and VWAB have been outstanding partners in our work serving people impacted by violent crime,” said Fallon.  “Every person has the right to live free from abuse, and while PTH and like programs are already inundated and focused-in on providing direct care services to people, we look to MOVA, VWAB and our legislators as our advocates in helping us to remain fully funded.”

  MOVA announced that the Massachusetts Legislature named a Conference Committee to “reconcile differences between the House and Senate final budgets”. Conference Committee members are: Representatives Michlewitz, Ferrante, and Smola and Senators Rodrigues, Friedman, and O’Connor.  MOVA continues to advocate for a fully-funded VOCA Bridge to sustain services for victims and survivors and is “requesting that the Conference Committee maintain the $20M investment included in the House budget to bridge one-year of impending cuts” to VOCA funded programs for fiscal year 2023.

  To help support these efforts, please call PTH (781) 338-7678 or email portaltohope@aol.com.  “Over the course of our own lives, many of us, unfortunately, will know of someone whose life has been impacted by domestic violence crime. We are reaching-out to people to call their legislators to ask that they support the fully-funded intentions of the VOCA Bridge Act passed by the Massachusetts House,” said Fallon.  “We appreciate the public’s support.” For more information about MOVA, please visit www.mass.gov/mova.  For more information about PTH, please visit www.portaltohope.org.


Portal To Hope (“PTH”) is a nationally recognized, award-winning nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence.  PTH serves Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Winthrop and neighboring Massachusetts communities.  For information, visit our website at www.portaltohope.org.

Contact Advocate Newspapers