Abigail's Arms opens Cooke County's first family crisis shelter

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GAINESVILLE, TEXAS -- Cooke County community members stepped inside the county's first-ever crisis center today. Abigail's Arms has been helping local victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for more than 30 years; now, the organization has its first shelter.

"We are the only residential facility in this county, and so we serve as a crisis center, as well as a women's shelter," Abigail's Arms Executive Director Kim Cook said.

Before this facility, victims in Cooke County would have to travel to have access to a shelter.

"Our clients have has to either be driven to Denton or Sherman and that's very traumatic for our families," Cook said.

Abigail's Arms volunteer Rene Trimble understands the need for a nearby shelter firsthand.

"There was a point in my life where I needed some help in a difficult relationship and I needed shelter and back years ago when I needed in, there was nothing here in Cooke County," Trimble said.

This 9,000 square foot facility off Highway 82 in Gainesville can shelter 44 women and children and has office space for ten staff members.

The building is equipped with cutting edge technology and security, including play therapy and forensic interview rooms.

The land the shelter stands on, and funds for the building itself, has been donated.

Nearly 1.2 million dollars has been raised in the Cooke County community alone, but they're still hoping to reach their goal of 2 million dollars.

"Giving to this cause, you just don't know the lives you'll impact," Trimble said.

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