Iowa’s First Lady is encouraging domestic violence, youth and homeless shelters around the state to apply for grants through the state’s I-JOBS program. Mari Culver says the $10-million in grants can help shelter officials finance repairs and renovations.
"There are roughly 25 domestic violence and 25 youth shelters across the state and these shelters are generally run, in my perception, on shoestring budgets," Culver said. She joined with representatives of the women and youth shelters in Mason City this morning to tout the grants.
Culver says it’s a great opportunity for the shelters to make needed improvements. "Some of (the shelters) are in very old, rundown locations with security needs, repair needs, roofing needs, furnace needs…all types of needs that are always unmet, because their budgets just don’t allow," Culver said. The First Lady became a leading advocate for the homeless and domestic violence victims before moving into Terrace Hill.
Culver says she was visiting a lot of shelters on the campaign trail. "That really opened my eyes to the need for shelters and certainly opened my heart," Culver said. "I became aware of the great public servants we have working at these shelters who are paid very little and provide such critical, substantial services to those who are in the greatest need in our state."