Longview outreach program for abused children plans expansion

A program which has assisted hundreds of children in East Texas has announced their plans to expand.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 8:04 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A program which has assisted hundreds of children in East Texas has announced their plans to expand.

The Martin House Children’s Advocacy Center in Longview has served the counties of Gregg, Harrison, and Marion since 2009, when their location on West Garfield Drive was established. That facility consists of 13 team members working out of two duplexes, and even with that small force, their tireless work provided relief to 576 children last year alone. Executive Director Roxanne Stevenson believes that now is the time to grow their operation.

“Child abuse is not going away,” Stevenson said. “We’re seeing a lot more cases of children acting out sexually against other children, and we’re seeing a lot more children experiencing or witnessing domestic violence, or witnessing violent crimes.”

Their goal, she said, is to provide not only intervention services, but prevention services as well. With a larger staff and an adequate area to house their workspace, the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) will be better equipped to do so. Stevenson is confident that the larger facility will allow them to hire more staff, serve more children and families, and expand services, outreach, and community service.

The project is at the very beginning stage of it’s campaign, she said, and they are beginning to meet privately with community leaders and major donors. Once the designs are complete and the plans have been drafted, the campaign will go public, and Stevenson said that this will likely be soon.

Stevenson also said that Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt and committee members verbally committed to a $1 million donation to the cause in January, which along with a six-acre donation adjacent to the current location will go a long way towards the expansion. The CAC hopes that the counties of Harrison and Marion will join Gregg in support as well.

The CAC plans to break ground within the next couple of years.