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Crisis Nursery supporters petition commissioners to keep funding

Published 8:03am Friday, December 7, 2012

One local group is looking to avoid a crisis from budget cuts.

Of the 30 people attending Thursday’s Truth in Taxation meeting, about a dozen were there to implore the board to continue funding about $7,000 each year to the Crisis Nursery of the Parenting Resource Center.

“It is an essential service for children who are at risk,” said Heather Steinkamp, who spoke on behalf of Parenting Resource Center Director Maryanne Law , who was out of town.

According to the letter from Law, the Crisis Nursery helped 28 families and 41 children from January to October.

The county board recently indicated it cut funds to many non-mandated programs like the nursery.

But many people told the board that programs like that, which offer a safer and secure place for children, is a worthwhile investment.

“This is a simple case where you have an ounce of prevention, a pound of cure,” said Nate Howard, who is a peer mentor with the Riverland Community College Parent Center.

Kristin Crnkovic, who has worked with the nursery and area schools, said the program is a major benefit.

“I think it’s a really good thing to have,” she said.

Regina DeVries said that even though she and her husband, Aaron, never used the Crisis Nursery, they reached out to call the center in a time of need.

“It was very comforting and I knew I could use it if I had to,” she said.

DeVries has a child with special needs, and she said knowing that support was there was important for her family.

“It has helped my family stay together, so I really believe in the crisis nursery,” she said.

While there was concern the county would eliminate its funding, commissioners said Tuesday they support it.

At Thursday’s county board meeting, Commissioner Jerry Reinartz said the money is well spent if the preventive measures keep some children from out of home placements, which has been a significant cost to the county in recent years.

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