Nonprofit loses its last employees

An employee works at PAR Thursday.

By Lia

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Mismanaged money at People Against Rape has cost the organization its last employees.

"We definitely don't feel like we should be punished for it in the same breath, we also understand without funds we cant stay open," Meshia Means, Education Coordinator for PAR.

Means is just one of a handful of employees at PAR who are losing their jobs after grants totaling $300,000 was temporarily pulled.

"We've been on an emotional rollercoaster and we're not sad about necessarily losing our jobs. We're sad about the services our victims won't get," she said.

In Nov. 2010, LeeAnn Blanch was raped. She says without PAR, she wouldn't have been able to overcome the experience.

"The morning of it was my daughter's tenth birthday party. So, it was very difficult because her birthday was supposed to be a happy event at the same time it does bring back those feelings," she said.

Blanch says PAR went to work to help her overcome and motivated her.

"It was amazing to walk in there after the trial and everyone walks in there and they congratulate you and they didn't know your name but knew your face and knew how hard you worked to stay strong."

The personal attention that has helped Blanch is what could potentially be at loss for other rape victims.

"Where will these people get help now without us being here?" Means said. "We got punished but the community still needs us."

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