Taking on the Challenge of Change


Katie Stromme

The on-campus New Horizons office door.

Tyler Nielsen, Staff Writer

Facing budget cuts, New Horizons Crisis Center (NHCC) prepares to take on the challenge of continuing to do their best to serve local communities.

“We are not going to give up on our kids. We are still going to provide these services. It is just too important,” said Executive Director Jennifer Bruns.

Effective Oct. 1, 2012, NHCC will receive $83,596 less in funding from its main funding source, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of Minnesota. 20% of their budget is now gone. In fact, 16 OJP grant receivers had their funding cut entirely this year. As a whole, OJP had $1,500,000 less to award. The budget cut was unexpected.

NHCC has provided programs and services to Southwest Minnesota State University students for the past twelve years. With the severe reduction in funds, office hours at the SMSU office will now be limited to no more than eight per week during the school year.

Through the years, the presence of NHCC has been noticeable on campus. Whether the organization was promoted in a class or through flyers posted in bathrooms, students recognize the name. But what will less schedule hours mean for students? “Our agency will remain strong and find innovative ways and new opportunities to continue serving victims,” said Marie Meyers, Board Chairperson.

The substantial budget cut means changes in the services provided. Meyers stated, “This will be a change, and change can be a challenge, but we will get through this. We will do what we do best: serving our local communities.”

Students and faculty who are victims are encouraged to receive services at NHCC’s main office, located on 109 South 5th Street in Marshall. NHCC will continue providing services to crime victims, along with parenting time and crisis nursery services. Bruns encourages people to contact her either at [email protected] or at (507) 537-5764.