BARSTOW • Funding is slowing for the Barstow Pregnancy Center, with the organization receiving about two-thirds of the monthly revenue it needs to keep its doors open.
Molly Ulm, the center's director, says her treasurer estimates the shortfall could force the center to close its doors in another six or seven months.
The cash crunch comes after years where once-reliable sources of funds were cut, Ulm said. This included Community Development Block Grant funds from the county, which the center lost out on in 2010 when the application criteria were changed in a way that made the center ineligible.
That happened because the pool of funds for the grants had been cut by the state, Ulm said. The program once provided $5,000 each year for the center.
The city's fireworks lottery could have been a potential funding savior, but the pregnancy center drew 16th. That means they would only receive a permit to sell fireworks if six of the 10 selected organizations did not complete their formal applications — an unlikely scenario.
The center, a pro-life resource center, offers pregnancy tests, information about sexually transmitted diseases and parenting classes, as well as information about putting a baby up for adoption. It orders its curriculum from Heritage House 76, a pro-life group based in Arizona.
The group offers parenting classes, information about adoption and referrals to physicians and pediatricians for expectant and new mothers, as well as classes specifically for new fathers, Ulm said. Expectant mothers can receive counseling about abortion services, but the group will not make referrals for abortions, Ulm said.
Funding comes from private donors as well as churches and the United Way, Ulm said. She said despite the grim financial numbers, she was hopeful that things would work out.
"God always provides," Ulm said. "We've never had to close our doors when things have gotten scary."
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