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Picture meant to send message to lawmakers, after 300 turned away from domestic violence shelter amidst impasse

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  President and CEO of Survivors Inc. in Gettysburg, Terri Hamrick, posted a picture on facebook of her staff members holding a chain of paper people. Each figure representing a person turned away from the shelter since the budget impasse began on July 1,2015.

300 to be exact. "We last counted November 30th, so I'm sure there's more," said Hamrick.

The goal is to send a message to lawmakers. "These are all people who got up the strength and courage to leave, and what they were told is we can't help you," said Hamrick. "It's Heartbreaking. Any act of domestic violence can result in death. The stakes could not be higher."

Adults are represented by the purple figures, children with the teal. Those expecting children have babies attached to their bellies. "I don't have enough room to show everyone," said Hamrick as she spread out the long chain of people. "We don't know where these folks are, or how they are doing. I just hope that they are hanging in there."

The organization helps victims of domestic and sexual violence.  Now the shelter needs help. Six months without any state and some federal funding, the shelter has racked up more than $200,000 in debt. "We have had to borrow over $170,000 from the Adams County Community Foundation, and we have around $60,000 or better in unpaid vendor bills, that are outstanding," Said Hamrick. And it's only getting worse. "Each day that we go without money, we're digging in deeper, and coming to that point where we may run out of resources, and we may have to close." She said she is hoping for a Christmas miracle from lawmakers.  "We're barely hanging on by our fingernails."