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SCVP reduces coverage are from 12 to 5 counties

The Southside Center for Violence Prevention (SCVP) will dramatically reduce its service area beginning July 1, 2020.

The nonprofit organization provides free, confidential and comprehensive services to those affected by domestic and sexual violence. It previously served the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince Edward.

The reduction in coverage means the use of SCVP’s services will only be available to the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Nottoway and Prince Edward in July.

SCVP Executive Director Dr. Michele Laaksonen said the decision to reduce the coverage area comes after a recommendation by grantors concerned about the organization’s ability to secure state/ federal funding and sustainability.

Laaksonen said at the organizational level, many nonprofits struggle with being able to maintain adequate staffing with salaries that are rarely competitive with the for-profit sector. Organizations like SCVP also sometimes struggle with ensuring accessibility of services to their clients, particularly in rural areas, as well as finding allied professions/organizations that will refer clients and enter into grant partnerships.

At the state and federal levels, nonprofits often struggle to compete for very limited funding.

Laaksonen said the organization took the recommendation of its grantors seriously, particularly in light of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Virginia’s decision to block SCVP’s application needed for accreditation in most of the current service area.

She advised that those wondering what can be done to aid the organization can help by utilizing the services of nonprofits when in need and by referring those they know who are in need of any services.

Individuals can donate their time or money, discuss concerns with elected officials and advocate for the passing of legislative acts that protect and fund these programs.

Counties that lost coverage will no longer be able to utilize SCVP’s services, including crisis intervention, psychological evaluation, short-term counseling and therapy, psychoeducation, peer-support and forensic advocacy.

“Just like in the work we do with survivors, we encourage the public to become educated on issues that affect them, to make informed decisions, and to advocate for themselves to ensure they receive the services they want or need. In this situation, that means learning about the business, the politics, and the challenges of nonprofits.”