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Women's Community in Wausau hiring Hmong counselors with grant funding

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The Women's Community in Wausau is going to be getting some funding to help improve their services.

State and federal officials are offering $56,000 in grants under the Violence Against Women Act program. Women's Community director Jane Graham-Jennings says the funding will be going to a needed source. "The funding we receive supports the south-east asian advocate program, which in our community supports the Hmong population."

State officials consider that an underserved population, something that Graham-Jennings says the money will help them solve. They'll be hiring more Hmong oriented counselors and training staff with the funding. "There's cultural nuances that we need to be cognizant of, to ensure that when we're talking with someone what we think is the best thing for them might not necessarily be. We need to consider from their cultural perspective."

It's the cultural issues that the shelter needs to deal with. Graham-Jennings says with more staff they can help get better outcomes for their clients. "So that we can be really clear that when we're helping people decide what's best for their life, we're not doing it with biased cultural influences and things that we don't understand culturally."

The Wisconsin Rapids Family Center is getting $64,000 in similar grants from the state.

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