REGION—A release issued by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) states the Victims Intervention Program (VIP) has been awarded a subcontract to expand its sexual assault and domestic violence services into Pike County, effective July 1, 2018.

Services to be extended into Pike County include:

• a 24-hour crisis hotline

• accompaniment to medical facilities, police investigations and court proceedings

• Crisis counseling

• Individual advocacy

• Information referral

• System advocacy

• Prevention education

• Professional training

The PCAR release explains VIP won the subcontract for the Act 44/Title XX provision of service after the advocacy group's application proved to stand out from the others.

“The Victims Intervention Program, under the current leadership of Michele Minor Wolf, has provided outstanding service to Wayne County residents for more than 30 years,” said PCAR Chief Operating Officer Joyce Lukima in the release.

She added, “VIP's high standards for victim services, efficient fiscal management of resources and capacity to expand their community footprint to Pike County left a strong impression on the review committee.”

Also aiding the expansion, VIP Executive Director Michele Minor Wolf mentioned the VIP board already has an even representation of directors who reside in Wayne and Pike counties.

“Our first interest is always to the victims and survivors,” said Wolf, noting VIP is excited to bring the services which have helped Wayne County for so long to a new area.

The executive director stated the expansion will not hinder current services in Wayne County.

To accomplish the necessary coverage, Wolf stated VIP plans to hire direct service representatives including councilors and outreach specialists.

Existing administrators will oversee operations in both counties, she added.

Moreover, she noted funding pools for each county will be kept separate.

Money used to create or refine services in Pike County will come from fund raising efforts and grant applications in that county, said Wolf.

In the PCAR release, Wolf stated “While we are located in the county seat of Wayne County, we are very aware of the barriers to accessing services in rural areas.

“Over the years, we have developed many programs and projects to reduce those barriers to accessing services.

“Many of our services are now provided in the community, rather than our offices. If folks can't get to us, we go to them.”