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Public Safety Bond Includes Funding For Battered Women's Shelter

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Domestic Violence Survivor Spicee Grey speaks about her experience with the Battered Women and Children's Shelter

One of the six ballot propositions for San Antonio’s 850 million dollar bond includes 34 million dollars allocated to public safety. If the proposition passes, part of the money will be going to the Battered Women’s Shelter to create a new gymnasium and activity center for the women and children who use its services.

San Antonio’s 2017 bond touches all corners of the city and even some non-profits. One million dollars is slated for the construction of a new gymnasium. Marta Pelaez, president of Family Violence Prevention Services, which oversees the shelter says the gym would help women and children recover through activity.

“Physical activities that would be extremely helpful in their repair and recapturing their dignity.”

About 1,800 women and children use the shelter to escape family violence each year. Spicee Grey is one of them. She used the shelter’s services in 2003. Grey says that in the past, it seemed like community support was lacking.

“It seemed like we wasn’t getting the funding, we wasn’t getting everybody to join in unity to help us out, but having this here it speaks so much to my heart to let me know that things are becoming more effective now.”

Proposition five has five components.  The largest portion – 20 million dollars – goes toward a new downtown substation for the San Antonio Park Police. Former City Councilman Carlton Soules – who has been outspoken against portions of the bond – says he supports money going to the women’s shelter but the police station is not necessary.

“It’s not as if this is a one shot ‘we don’t vote for this – we won’t ever be able to do projects.’ The reality is when bond projects fail, they tend to be slimmed down, some of the fat carved out of them, and then they’re brought back to the public and they pass overwhelmingly.”

San Antonio residents will have the option to vote individually on each proposition.  Election Day is Saturday May 6th and early voting begins Monday April 24th.