Families in Crisis board president thanks community for its support

To the Editor:

It is amazing that the domestic violence shelter of Families In Crisis has been opened 37 years and the organization’s homeless shelter has been open for two years.

What is even more amazing is the support that we have received from community members, churches, groups and organizations.

Thanksgiving gave us a time to reflect on the blessings we have as friends and family, but also a time to hopefully consider those less fortunate.

As Christmas approaches, please remember those who are currently in shelters seeking safety and a new life away from domestic violence and homelessness.

Offer prayers thanking God for our many blessings and remember those whose lives are more challenging at this time of the year, as well as those who have already been survivors and have been able to move on with their lives in a positive way.

For the first 11 months of 2017, the Friends In Crisis Homeless Shelter has averaged 80.3 persons per night in its 78-bed facility, and in the past three months, 83.8 per night with the largest night of 104. Exceeding the number of beds requires the use of many cots, but individuals are in a safe environment where they can eat, shower, and wash clothes.

The domestic violence shelter has averaged 55.6 persons per night in its 24 hour-a-day, 65-bed facility. Both facilities have case managers who work hard to help individuals start a new life.

For January-October, 2017, the 24-hour per day hotline received 4,210 calls (about 14 a day) of which 340 were calls regarding sexual assault (more than one each day). Through October, we have helped 590 individuals from 194 family units with housing assistance, either new persons who have been placed in housing this year or ones who continued to receive assistance from last year.

We are fortunate that many people recognize that these shelters are community shelters designed to help our neighbors and other community members. As an example, one family purchased turkeys, hams, and the trimmings for Thanksgiving. Shelter staff did the cooking, but the family came in and served the dinner on Thanksgiving. This is the second year that they have provided this service.

We are appreciative of the many people and groups who continue to care about people to the point of participating in some form or fashion to assist our programs. We are thankful for all who acknowledge the need for such programs and commit to do something to assist.

As we approach Christmas, let us all be grateful for the many blessings that we have and seek to help others through their time of need. We can make a difference and make our community a better place.

I wish God’s blessings to you, your families, and those who you touch.

Larry W. Moehnke

Families In Crisis Board Chair

Harker Heights

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