Kendall County Women's Shelter
Since the 1990s, Kendall County has operated one of the hill country’s most responsive Victim Services programs. Initially funded by grants for the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, the Victim Services Coordinator has operated as a part of the County Attorney’s office and has developed a strong working relationship with local law enforcement agencies. Dedicated personnel have been on call around the clock, providing services to victims of all types of crime, educating victims about the criminal justice process, securing assistance for those harmed by violent crime, and advocating for the rights of victims.
Despite the services provided to crime victims, it became clear to those involved that a significant gap in services existed in Kendall County. Victims of domestic violence who wished to leave an abusive environment had no local option for a safe haven. As a result, a woman wishing to leave a dangerous home was forced to temporarily relocate to another community whose shelter could accommodate her and her children. Often, the only options available were to go to a shelter in Hondo, Kerrville, Seguin, or San Antonio. This meant leaving jobs and removing children from their schools, further disrupting an already unstable situation. As a result, many women chose to return to an abusive home.
Recognizing the need for a local shelter, a small handful of citizen advocates founded the Kendall County Women’s Shelter (originally called the Kendall County Women’s Center) in 2005. This small group developed a project plan, and began the process of educating the community about the need for a shelter and determining the feasibility of making their plan for a shelter become a reality.
Despite the passion of these dedicated individuals the project languished until 2007 when the Kendall County Commissioners Court voted to lease a parcel of county land adjacent to the county law enforcement center to KCWS for the construction of the shelter. This arrangement allowed KCWS to focus fundraising to construction and operation costs. As part of this process, the KCWS Board was forced to weigh the issues of confidentiality against safety. A shelter located on county land would never be confidential, as most shelters are intended to be. However, the location of most women’s shelters rarely remains confidential. The KCWS opted for a secure location behind the local law enforcement center, where safety would take priority over secrecy.
After securing the land, KCWS undertook a successful capital campaign, led by Michael and Cindy Glick, to raise funds for the shelter’s construction. Through the generosity of Boerne architect Ben Adam, who donated his design services, and Bartlett Cocke Contractor Darrell White, who donated construction management construction began in March 2011. During that time, KCWS has grown its board to reflect not only the community, but the scope of the project. As a result of the hard work of its board and volunteers – and the generous support of the local community – the Kendall County Women’s Shelter opened the facility in the Spring of 2012 to provide a safe place to end domestic violence, one family at a time.