Funding approved for HCWC
The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center (HCWC), which is currently in the permitting process for construction of a new transitional housing facility for victims of violence and abuse, has received support from Hays County.
On Tuesday morning, the Hays County Commissioners Court voted to approve a funding agreement with the HCWC, which will provide the center with $600,000 for a new transitional housing facility. Construction on the project, which has an estimated total cost of $4.3 million, is expected to begin this fall. County Judge Ruben Becerra was not present at the Tuesday meeting due to a family emergency.
According to Marla Johnson, executive director of the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, last year 2,111 victims were served by the HCWC, 1,576 of which were from Hays County. The HCWC is a nonprofit that provides services, including counseling, advocacy, 24-hour crisis response and shelter, to Hays and Caldwell county residents who are victims of family violence, dating violence, sexual assault and child abuse. In 2009, the HCWC opened the McCoy Family Shelter, a 10,000 square-foot facility that cost $2.1 million, according to the organization’s website.
“This particular project meets a very desperate need,” Johnson said. “It will focus on families with young children ... We have four four-bedroom, 12 three-bedroom and two one-bedroom apartments. This project started off with a planning grant from the San Marcos Lions Club and has enjoyed a lot of community support.”
Johnson said that has been very easy to understand how a woman with children has such a hard time finding affordable housing in Hays County.
“And these children who are living in these homes, the woman is usually having to go back to the violent home because there’s no other option for them," Johnson said. "So during this formative time for these young children they’re growing up in a violent home — and we’re hoping to give them another alternative.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said that this is a very exciting project for Hays County, Caldwell County and the City of San Marcos.
“I’ve been out there and seen some of the services that they provide and it’s truly something very special to have the people that we have in our community working so hard on such an important issue,” Shell said.
According to Johnson, the City of San Marcos is working on an agreement modeled on the County’s agreement with the HCWC.
“The project will be on City land, which we lease for $1 a year and they are looking at a $400,000 contribution,” she said.
In other business, the county approved a Letter of Agreement with the Central Texas Medical Center and voted to authorize $1,069,887 for Indigent health care costs.
Likewise, the court adopted a proclamation recognizing the Hays County Master Naturalists’ 20th Anniversary, which will be celebrated at Dripping Springs Park Ranch on Aug. 10.