Michigan restores funding to organizations that help victims of sexual abuse after $6 million cut

Michigan's next budget was wrapped up in July but the impact of those changes are having some massive ramifications, specifically on organizations that help children who are victims of sexual and physical abuse.

Friday morning advocacy centers across Michigan, like Care House of Oakland County, learned of cuts in funding. Across the state, funding for organizations like Care House has been slashed by more than $6 million.

"Our center, for whatever reason, was defunded completely - 100% - compared to the $817,000 we received last year," CARE House of Oakland County President & CEO Blythe Tyler said. 

Children's Advocacy Centers of Michigan Executive Director Julie Bird said the funding comes from the state and was slashed in half.

"Funding through what is called the Victims of Crime Act, which comes through MDHHS had been cut from $12.5 million down to $6 million," Bird said. "We serve 10,000 children, annually, across the state of Michigan. These children have either been severely neglected or abused or, in most cases, sexually abused. These are critical services for children of our state."

Friday afternoon, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was able to restore funding.

"We are going to receive the full $12.5 million," Bird said. ""I can’t tell you how much this means to us and the children of the state."

Bird said MDHSS conducted an internal review and found a solution to the budget problem. 

For those who run the centers they know the funding is crucial to saving lives

"My passion really lies with this because as a young child I was a victim of sexual abuse by a family member and knowing that, and knowing that places like this did not exist at that time, drives me to do what I do," Tyler saiid