From the outside, it looks like a regular house in a typical suburban neighborhood. But, the family that is living inside is not the same family that lived there a few weeks ago.
Even the inside of the house looks average. There’s a kitchen, a dining room and an office with a computer.
Once you reach the bedrooms, you realize that this is not a typical home. There are no framed photographs on the walls and there are few personal belongings. There are no bathtubs in the house for children to enjoy bubble baths; only a few small showers with worn shower curtains.
The house is a “shelter” for abused women and children and it’s in your neighborhood. Many local families call the place home, at least for a while, until they can find another place for a fresh start.
I recently had the opportunity to tour this shelter to learn more about the day to day life of the clients served through the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County. It was eye-opening and humbling.
Although you may read news reports about abuse and violence, it’s a little different when you have an opportunity to meet the victims and/or see how they are surviving. Some women flee their homes, with NO possessions in an effort to solely protect themselves and their children from harm.
In Galveston County last year, there were 2,946 cases alleging child abuse or neglect. Of those cases, 2,624 cases were thoroughly investigated based upon initial findings, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. These are just the ones that were documented and recorded by an agency. Think about all of the cases that went unreported.
One of the most important things we can do as a community is to volunteer our time, money and/or resources to help. Each year, the Resource and Crisis Center hosts Casino for Cause, the organizations’ major fundraiser. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on July 28 at Moody Gardens and is an opportunity for fun, food and friends to gather for an amazing cause.
Casino for a Cause is island casual and guests will have an opportunity to play casino-style games like Texas Hold ‘Em, Black Jack, Roulette, etc. And, there will be slot machines for guests to enjoy as well. Casino prizes range from a cruise to a large flat-screen television.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available. To make a direct donation or learn more about the Resource and Crisis Center, log onto http://rccgc.org/ . To RSVP, email Debbie Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (409) 632-5206.
The mission of the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County is to promote the safety, well-being, and best interest of victims of family violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and to advocate for the prevention of such crimes.
Twila Linblade is a member of the Board of Directors for the Resource and Crisis Center and lives in Dickinson.