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September 2, 2014

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Shelter for abused and homeless women and children cutting services, employees amid shutdown

Budget Battle: Oct. 11, 2013

President Barack Obama meets with small business owners about the government shutdown and debt ceiling in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Launch slideshow »

A Las Vegas shelter for abused women and children said today it has had to temporarily lay off 10 percent of its staff and dramatically reduce services because of the government shutdown.

The Shade Tree, the area's only 24-hour shelter for women, children and pets, is losing $25,000 a month in federal grant funds because of the government shutdown, executive director Marlene Richter said in a news release today.

As a result, the non-profit organization has had to reduce employee hours and cut services. Starting at midnight, the shelter will eliminate its 24-hour intake program and will only accept new clients at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., unless the individual is accompanied by police.

Snacks served to women and children will be reduced by half and a women's clinic has been closed. The Workforce Readiness Program will be reduced to four days a week.

The Shade Tree is hoping to see a quick end to the federal government shutdown so we may resume full services to the women, children, and animals who so desperately seek our assistance.

The Shade Tree shelters about 350 women and children daily.

Donations can be made by calling 702-385-0072 ext. 101 or 107.

State officials are concerned about the impact of a prolonged government shutdown on Nevada's non-profit organizations that serve needy families. The state will no longer be able to pay food stamp benefits to more than 360,000 recipients starting Nov. 1. Gov. Brian Sandoval noted earlier this week that the only other option for those families would be food banks, which aren't equipped to handle such an influx.

"It would be overwhelming for our food banks, pantries and kitchens," said Mike Willden, director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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