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Family Crisis Center Charity Profile
The Bastrop County Womenís Shelter, dba Family Crisis Center started in 1981 from a coalition of rural Texas women with a shared vision of offering hope, support, and assistance to women victimized by domestic violence. Since becoming an incorporated nonprofit in 1983, the Center has evolved into a community leader in rural Central Texas. The Center recently celebrated 25 years of service offering victims of domestic and sexual violence safety, shelter, and advocacy; a milestone made possible by the enduring commitment of the Centerís clients, staff members, volunteers, donors, and community partners, both organizations and individuals.1981 - A small group of women and children met at Debbie Bresette's house to build a community network for women. After much discussion they came to the realization that there were several families in the area with violent relationships. The focus of the meeting changed to family violence assistance and the group decided to advertise in the local paper to attract a diverse group of community volunteers. After the first four meetings, a consistent core of people remained interested in the situation. At the second meeting a woman who had been severely battered came to ask for help and safety. This event was the catalyst that changed the meeting from talk to action. Safe homes were developed throughout Bastrop County and used to shelter women and their children.
1982 - The first Board of Directors was formed, bylaws developed, and 501 (c) 3 status was filed. Board members provided crisis intervention and shelter. The center received its first referral from the Department of Human Services (DHS). Child Protective Services in Fayette County requested safety for a mother and her child who were a victim of sexual abuse. Janine Peters secured a donated trailer, cleared land and found a variety of resources for the family. We learned that families need comprehensive services specific to individual needs.
1983 - Agency became incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. A mother and her four children were referred by Child Protective Services. The caseworker was afraid they would all be murdered. Board members and volunteers went door to door and raised $3,000 and sent the mother and the children to her home in another country. We learned to ask for funding and assistance and partner with the community to help keep families safe.
1984 - An official hot line number with volunteers and an answering machine was set up. We found our first office on Main Street Bastrop. Ruben Soriano drew our first poster advertising our hotline number. We placed them in the women's restroom of local bars. The first call from the posters was a young 7 year old girl who had seen the bear drawn on the poster and knew that we could help her. She out-cried about sexual abuse and was provided with immediate criminal justice assistance. We learned how to partner with the Criminal Justice System and began to work with child victims.
1985 - After a public education presentation at the Wyldwood Baptist Church, our first safe house, located in Smithville, was donated. We hired the first paid house manager with money raised from a Johnny Paycheck concert sponsored by members from Tahitian Village. We received our first grant for sexual assault services and our second grant for family violence services. We provided our first school based sexual assault prevention programs to middle and high school youth. The center rented office space in Bastrop on Pecan Street. At this time there were three staff members.
1986 - VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) funding was received! Community Fundraising began. The Boogie Benefit, our first all day dance concert was held. The Child Assault Prevention Program, from Columbus Ohio, came to Bastrop and trained volunteers and was offered to school districts. Smithville was the first school to receive CAPP.
1987 - The Center moved to a trailer in downtown Bastrop for our first office with a 'counseling' area. Texas Council came and provided their first Technical Assistance project to the Center by training board members on their duties.
1988 - A larger office space opened on Spring Street in Bastrop which had 4 rooms. Lamar and Joyce Wiginton donated the first computer and the safe house in Bastrop. We opened our first satellite office in Smithville in the City Hall. We began to separate our Board and Staff duties. We completed our first strategic plan.
1989 - Funding was difficult. The center office was moved briefly to the renovated garage in the safe house. The first Emergency Shelter grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs gave us the money to return to the Spring Street office and hire another advocate. We began Parent Education classes. We closed our books with a deficit that year, and learned how vital fundraising needed to be. We changed our name to the Family Crisis Center.
1990 - FEMA money became available to the center in the amount of $23,000. Another grant allowed the center to have four VISTA volunteers to develop our fundraising and volunteer programs. The Lutheran Brotherhood of Fayette County built a playground for the safe house, and the Batterers Intervention and Prevention Program began. 6,000 children were provided services through the CAPP program. Our first formal strategic planning process was developed.
1991 - The SHAPE program began in Lee County schools. The first newsletter, golf tournament, rodeo and volunteer recognition events were held. Policies and procedures were written.
1992 - In Fayette County, an office space in the Agricultural Building on North Jefferson street was donated and furnished by local civic clubs. Andy Blaschke was elected the "Chair of Garage Sales" which was the begging of Bits & Pieces Thrift Store.
1993 - The First Annual Dance in La Grange was held. For the first time, the Dance and Golf Tournament were organized exclusively by volunteers. The Board approved a thrift store. A steering committee was formed to run our first Capital Campaign. Bobby Jenkins and his aunts, Marie McLeod and Agnes K. Hasler, donated 1 acre of land for $1.00 a year for 50 years.
1994 - Bits & Pieces Thrift Store opened. The first satellite office in Lee County opens. The need for permanent facilities was established, and a capital campaign of $500,000 was approved to include a direct services office combined with a thrift store and separate shelter.
1995 - Plans for a permanent facility were finalized, construction loans acquired, and the capital campaign began. Staff was increased at the emergency shelter to provide 24 hour a day care. Motorola donated all the office furniture. LCRA donated a large Morgan building.
1996 - The center moved into to a new office in Bastrop on 431 Old Austin Highway in July. We also opened a new satellite office in Giddings to expand services. Shelter staff was increased to provide 24-hour coverage, and many other programs and groups were expanded or begun. We partnered with First Call for Help of United Way and became an information and referral for the counties we serve.
1997 - Opened our first office in Columbus, Colorado County. Acquired the funding of $1,000,000 to build supportive housing units. Capital Campaign was completed for phase one.
1998 - Reorganized the management of the Center and developed a team approach that reflected a continuum of care for clients.
1999 - Designed plans for transitional housing units. Began a new capital campaign to complete the supportive housing and safe housing projects. Received first Grants To Encourage Arrest Policies federal grant for the four county area to form CCRT's (Coordinated Community Response Teams).
2000 - Began construction of the housing project. Thrift Store moves to the former Owl Western Wear Building increasing size from 1000 sq. ft. to 7500 sq. ft. of retail space. Increased size of direct service office space by 1000 sq. ft.
2001 - The supportive housing project was completed with 21 apartments. The shelter was doubled in size.
2003 - Debbie Bresette moved on to a new position with the Capital Area United Way. Board of Directors appoints Sherry Murphy as the new Executive Director. First Annual Pedal Through The Pines fundraiser is held. Received first Office of Community Services federal grant.
2005 - SANE program becomes a reality in May 2005 with 5 nurses becoming SANE certified. Broke ground on construction of thrift store facility.
2006 - Construction of new Bits & Pieces Retail Thrift Store completed with store moving mid May and a Grand Opening Celebration in August. Festival of Trees fundraiser moves to the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines.
2008 - Celebration of 25 years as a non-profit corporation and a legacy.