COOKE COUNTY, TX - Victims of violence in Cooke County now have a place to seek refuge, thanks to an organization and numerous donors.
Many say prayer is a powerful force and it can move mountains if you let it. And Saturday in Cooke County, a groups prayer was answered.
"It all started with a prayer group of about 6 to 8 people who just felt like there was a need for a shelter in Cooke County," said Kim Cook, executive director of Abigail's Arms.
After years of praying and fundraising the residents of Cooke County finally have their own shelter. The Abigail's Arms Cooke County Family Crisis Center.
"We've raised over 2,000,000 to build the first residential facility of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and all violent crimes in Cooke County. And so this committee raised all that money, this building is debt free," said Cook
The Crisis Center has ten rooms and can house up to 45 people, depending on the size of the family. It has a community kitchen, tv room and play area for children.
The center not only houses women, but anyone who has been affected by violence.
"Most people don't like to admit there's violence or domestic violence in their area. So its important to Cooke County because Cooke County, just like anywhere , has violence in the home," said Cook.
"I see the perpetrators in jail that have beat and hurt people. And then I see the victims that came in for the emergency protective orders. So I see both sides of it. And I knew in my heart, doing what I do, there was a need for a shelter and its going to be a safe haven for people who have no place to go," said Dorthy Lewis, Cooke County Justice of the Peace and committee chair for Abigail's Arms.
Other agencies in Cooke County specify and focus on individuals affected by a particular threat. But Abigail's Arms is the only agency in the county that serves all victims of all violent crimes.
"The community should be very proud of them. This is the most effective, efficient grass-root fundraising effort I've ever seen and its just wonderful," said Linda Cadigan.