VACCR Centers Requesting Additional Funds

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HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV) -- With less funding from grants and local governments, dispute resolution centers are asking for help from the General Assembly.

The Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution (VACCR) is asking for $750,000 a year, for two years.

They need people to help mediate cases and money to help get the word out about their services.

"Numbers are increasing, but the dollars are decreasing, and that's caused many of the centers to have to lose staff and to try to have to do much more with much less," said Christine Poulson, the coordinator of the VACCR.

Three centers in Virginia have already closed and nine remain.

In Harrisonburg, the Fairfield Center helps mediate problems between people outside of court and also help with community discussions, such as Plan our Park.

Some centers bring victims of crime and those who have committed crimes together to talk.

Organizers said the centers save on court costs because it's much less to mediate a problem outside of court; however, the Fairfield Center executive director Tim Ruebke said it's a balancing act with less funding.

"Even with volunteers you can only stretch your human resources and other resources so far, before you have to start either having a longer waiting period or not being able to provide service," said Ruebke.

This money would also possibly provide funds for new start up mediation centers in Virginia.

The group will know if they've received funding next week; if not, they say they'll have to find a way to come up with the money they need. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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