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      5% increase in state shelter funding means survival

      The shelter in Agency needs more funding in order to survive

      It??s about survival and keeping the doors open to children that have nowhere else to go.

      The American Home Finding Association Emergency Shelter in Agency is asking the state for a 5% increase in shelter funding.

      Executive Director of American Home Finding Association Tracey Boxx-Vass said the trend the shelter is seeing are tougher kids and that 5% increase would mean the difference between bringing in one more child or being too full to accept that child.

      ??You know, we keep saying there's absolutely no fluff in that request. And in no way shape or form makes us whole but it will help us stay in business. When you look across the state, I think that the common thread is among shelters we're all saying we understand where the works at. We understand that our role now is to work with tougher kids but we just need the resources to do it effectively,?? said Boxx-Vass.

      Judy Davidson, the director of the Agency shelter said right now they can only afford to do the basic minimums and they rely on donations for all extra things such as replacing mattresses and giving the kids real life experiences outside of the shelter.

      When it comes to the shelter, there??s never a downtime as far as occupancy goes.

      ??Right now we have 13 youth here. We had one leave yesterday. As soon as one left we had three more calls. So as soon as one left, we had another one come in so the need is there -- although that??s not the state??s goal. We really don't want to see the children come to the shelter. I mean nobody wants to see kids away from their families but when there is no other alternatives -- you might have a parent that??s substance abusing, a foster home that??s not willing to take the youth and so there really is not other alternative besides shelter,?? said Davidson.

      Davidson and Boxx-Vass have been speaking to state representatives about the 5% increase to shelter funding and they urge you to do the same.