JENNY'S Place staff fighting to save the organisation's domestic violence resource centre say the demise of the specialist service would place women and children experiencing violence at further risk and put pressure on an already-stretched system.
Jenny's Place manager Marcia Chapman and corporate partnerships specialist Saibre Johnstone said they were "disappointed" to read a letter sent on behalf of Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman to Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, explaining the Department of Communities and Justice "is not currently commissioning for the type of service that the... centre provides".
"How can you make that decision without seeing what we do?" Ms Chapman asked.
"He hasn't seen our funding proposal - we're planning to send it in by the end of this week."
She said the letter pointed to government funding for unrelated programs and "mainstream services in justice, police, health, child protection, social housing and homelessness".
"But they're expensive crisis responses," she said.
"The work we are doing is early intervention and prevention, to resolve problems before they get to crisis point. We're saving the government money. There's no other service like it in the area. It's essential. The model works."
Jenny's Place receives state government funding for its accommodation and outreach only. It relies on donations - and sponsorship that will run out after September - for its resource centre, a "one stop shop" providing long-term support including information, referrals and advocacy.
Staff plan to send the proposal seeking about $300,000 per year to Mr Speakman and Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston.
"We're not going to give up the fight for government funding, however we do need ongoing support from the community and corporations to keep the service afloat while we negotiate for funding," Ms Chapman said.
"If we don't get more funding the service will be reduced to fit within the realms of what we can afford, but this will eventually run out. It will put more pressure on already-overflowing services.
"We don't want to let women and children down whose lives may be at risk."