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Funding restored for crisis nurseries

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – The Missouri Department of Social Services has restored full funding to the state's 12 crisis nurseries.

The facilities provide emergency shelter for young children whose families are under severe strain and may be at risk of abusing or neglecting the children. Earlier this week, DSS had informed the nurseries, which are funded through a combination of private donations and state funds, that they would not receive state dollars until July.

But, speaking in Jefferson County on Tuesday Governor Jay Nixon said that state funding will not be eliminated, but that it won't be able to keep up with demand.

"That process is not to end that funding stream, but merely to keep it at the same size as what it was," says Nixon. "And since there's been more people accessing crisis nurseries and their demand has gone up, I think there was some dissonance in communication, but the bottom line is we are going to continue that funding at the level it was at."

Department officials say they made the original decision because of an increase in those needing emergency care combined with the state's budget shortfall. They did not say how the restored funding will be paid for.