Grants Awarded to Local Organization - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Grants Awarded to Local Organization

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MONTANA -

The Montana Board of Crime Control is awarding a large sum of money to organizations throughout the state.

Four million dollars in federal and state grants goes to over 100 programs helping to fight juvenile delinquency and abuse victims, two of those organizations are here in Billings. The Montana Board of Crime Control granted $44,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters. The group focuses on providing matches between younger children and adults to help to brighten futures of kids. Executive Director Emily Brown says in order to receive the grants, the organization focuses on helping the "littles" to reach their potential.

"We give them statistics on how our kids are doing in school, dropout rates, grades, how they're doing at home, all that kind of stuff," says Brown.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County has a 40-person long waiting list for "bigs."

And about $108,000 will go to the YWCA, for victims of domestic and sexual violence. YWCA Gateway Program Manager Erin Lambert says one in three women will be victims of some form of abuse in their lifetime, so the grant helps YWCA staff to support victims in court and hospitals relating to their abuse.

"It really allows us to have our shelter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week the gateway house, where survivors can come and stay and we keep them safe," says Lambert.

Lambert says the grants are absolutely essential to running the program.

"We really want survivors in the community to know that we're here and were willing to help and we want to hear form them," says Lambert.

The YWCA is the largest sexual violence victim organization in Montana. All the groups hope to continue to support the Billings community through these grants that seem to make a world of difference. It costs around $1,000 to support one match at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County, the services provided by the YWCA are free to all victims.

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