At the April 28, 2016 meeting, United Way's Board of Directors approved a $25,000 Safety Net grant for Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services, based in Urbana, IL, so they may continue to operate core services, including the 24-hour Crisis Line and medical advocacy. RACES is the community-based rape crisis center serving East-Central Illinois. They provide free, confidential services to anyone who has been affected by sexual assault, abuse, or harassment. The Crisis Line can be reached by calling (217) 384-4444.
The following is the full statement from Sue Grey, President and CEO, from the press conference on May 12, 2016:
"On behalf of United Way of Champaign County, I want to express our deep regret that R.A.C.E.S has had to make the decision to reduce services. It is imperative that our Legislators put a budget in place sooner rather than later. We suspected that if the budget impasse continued, something like this might happen in our community - and it did. United Way will continue to provide support for the important and necessary services that R.A.C.E.S provides. Our Board has authorized $25,000 from our Safety Net fund for this purpose. We believe in their mission and understand the need to have this organization's programs in our community. Again, I ask that our elected officials please come together and put together a budget. If something does not happen soon, more and more critical services can and will go away."
This situation is a direct result of the state budget impasse, as RACES has not recieved payments from the State of Illinois for 11 months. We continue to advocate, on behalf of our partners, for an end to the Illinois state budget impasse. You can help by contacting your state lawmakers - visit www.uwayhelps.org/advocate for more information on how you can make a difference.