East Texas crisis center asking for help

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas crisis center that has helped countless women rebuild their lives is now itself in a crisis.

Women and children, victimized by domestic violence and other hardships, have found sanctuary and assistance at the Kilgore Crisis Center since 1984, but now financial debt threatens to close the facility down.

"Times are not good, " said Bob Casterm the Center's director. "Endowments are not making much money. We have federal and state grant and they're not as liberal as they once were. People living in Dallas, Marshall, New York are pinched by the recession."

The center is around $130,000 in the red.

"We're trying to economize any way we can," said Casterm. "We can't survive, no one can survive without financial stability."

Currently it houses five adults and six children.

"It's kind of like a yo-yo," Casterm explained. "You'll have four people one day and up to 16 the next day...Our business picks up in bad times."

Its been a lifesaver for many women in crisis.

"They gave me a place to stay for me and my girls," said Glenda Barron, a former Crisis Center resident. "We had a roof over our head, food to eat, so it's not just a hide out."

Prominently displayed on the wall as you walk into the Crisis Center is a plaque, dedicated to women who have lost their lives as a results of domestic violence and they do not want any more names added to it.

"If there's not a place for them to go, it's very bleak," said Casterm. "Our survival is necessary."

What' is needed is basic supplies necessary to run day to day operations, simply to help the women and children survive.

"Everybody really needs to help because I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have that place to got to and the people there to help me," said Barron.

"Provide food, clothing shelter and assistance, and we do that," said Casterm. "The pay's not good, the hours are long, but the rewards are great."

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