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Emergency Shelter In Wichita Seeing Steady Rise In Clients Facing Domestic Violence

shelter_room.jpg
Carla Eckels
/
KMUW
One of the rooms that clients occupy at the Wichita Family Crisis Center. Tracey Gay, director of client services, says nearly 1700 clients were served last year, with 310 housed at the shelter.

The Wichita Family Crisis Center has seen a steady rise in clients each month since the beginning of the year.

The emergency shelter, formally known as the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center, is seeing a number of women, children and even more men since the name change in 2016.

Tracey Gay, director of client services, says domestic violence is about power and control. She says the numbers may be climbing due to more awareness of the problem.

Last year, Gay says, nearly 1700 clients were served, with 310 housed at the shelter.

"But I think this year, specifically, we’ve just seen a more steady increase," she says. "Our shelter is staying full and all of our staff staying busy doing advocacy work, so we’ve expanded some programs to make it better for survivors."

The center has expanded its medical advocacy program and added another court advocate to help survivors of abuse. Still, Gay says, 45 clients have been turned away at the shelter each month.

“We are turning them away due to capacity issues," she says, "so we’re really trying to vamp up our community resources.”

Carla Eckels is director of cultural diversity and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.