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Closure rumors slow referrals to South County Crisis Center

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Closure rumors slow referrals to South County Crisis Center

South County Crisis Center staffers Lyn Price and Mary Rankin enter their Manteca Resource Center in the 600 block of West Center Street in Manteca.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED December 17, 2008 12:41 a.m.
Helping victims of family violence become survivors of family violence is the heart in the mission statement of the South County Crisis Center.
Director Lyn Price said a rumor the facility is closing has caused a huge drop in the number of referrals they are currently receiving for their anger management classes from the public, the police department and from the school district.
The center is planning gang violence intervention classes as soon as the police officer tapped to teach the class completes his training and is certified.
Funding to support their services has dropped significantly too, Price said, focusing on  a number of grants that have been cut in half while the need for their services is ever-present in Manteca and the entire south county.
“There is money out there — we just have to know where it is and how to get it in here,” Price said.  As for the decline in the grant money, “we don’t know why,” she added.
Ironically, statistics show the holiday periods see increases in domestic violence offenses.
“People in the area know we are the only agency offering what we offer — don’t know why the drop in funds — that really hurts,” she said.  And their staffers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The center offers legal services, emergency shelter, law enforcement services, counseling, education, financial aid, employment and health care for residents of the community.
“It is our goal to take families in crisis to self-sufficiency within one year,” their mission statement points out.    Classes at the West Center Street site include adult and teen anger management, a parenting class, another to solve problems with high school peer pressure and healing from domestic violence.
Mary Rankin spends two days a week meeting with Ripon residents where the local Soroptimist Club has financially backed the center’s operation with thousands of dollars.  Churches, the fire department and even the Ripon Senior Center have donated to the family crisis effort.  The Ripon Police Department has dedicated office space within their department  for the center as well.
Rankin said one young boy — an eighth grader — singled her out at National Night Out in October just to thank her and to let her know he was ok now.
Rankin said she, too, was in a domestic violence situation some 20 years ago giving her a true insight to her clients’ issues today.  She said she has been happily married for the last 20 years.
Other cases involved a mother who had been beaten by her teenaged son whom a staffer found huddled in a fetal position on her couch desperately needing support and guidance.
Another woman was four months pregnant when a boy friend attempted to violently end her pregnancy.  Crisis center staffers followed her case up and to her delivery of her children and even went to court with her watching her children.
Those they have helped often stop by the center in the 600 block of West Center Street to thank staffers and bring them up to date on their family’s turn-around.
One older lady who was found living in her car was aided in finding shelter in a hotel keeping her out of jail in the process.  Another who had been savagely beaten and was on drugs came back to see members of the staff — they didn’t recognize her without her bloodied face and covered with bruises.
A fund raiser was held at the Las Consuellas restaurant in Ripon in October in support for  the center and Dell’ Osso Farms in Lathrop funneled some of its Corn Maze profits to the human service.
A new service to residents will be a national domestic violence hotline that residents may call in time of a domestic emergency that will go to an area police department and then to the crisis center staff.
The crisis center is currently taking donations of food, clothing and unopened toys for Christmas.
The phone number to call with donations or for further information is 824-0586 in Manteca.  The Ripon number is 599-0240.
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