|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Temple to purchase Kalin's Center building
Trinity Standard -
CROCKETT -- The Temple Foundation has awarded a $106,000 grant to the Kalin's Center in Crockett to purchase a building on Houston Avenue to become the new Children's Advocacy Center –The Kalin's Center serving both Houston & Trinity Counties. The Kalin's Center opened its doors in 2001, offering a child-friendly environment to the children of both Houston and Trinity counties who have been victims of crimes. With a staff of three including the executive director, office administrator/victims services coordinator and the forensic interviewer/program director, the center serves as a neutral entity in which abused/neglected victims and witnesses of crimes can share the events of their story to a forensic interviewer. The interview is seen by CPS, law enforcement officials, prosecutors and medical professionals, limiting the amount of times a child has to retell his/her story. "Over the past three years, the Kalin's Center has interviewed/served over 200 victims of child abuse," said Executive Director Debbie McCall. "Unfortunately, we have interviewed more than one-third of that amount in the past seven months. Last year, we interviewed 59 children and have already interviewed over 70 thus far. "While we would all wish that organizations such as the Kalin's Center did not have to exist, you can see that it is a vital force in aiding the defenseless children in our communities," she said. While Kalin's Center receives grant money to help pay the salaries of the staff members,, most of its funds are accumulated through fundraisers, foundations and community support. The money is used to cover the basic operations of the center, provide continuous training to staff and law enforcement team members and educate the community on recognizing and reporting child abuse and bullying. Most importantly, these funds help pay for the victim's much needed services, which includes counseling and court preparation. The grant from the Temple Foundation will allow the center to move into a larger facility which will give the children more privacy and respect during the interview process. While the grant will cover the cost of the new building, McCall said they asking for public support to make needed renovations to the building before it can be put into use by the center. "Today, we are asking various businesses and organizations to help further our cause. If your company would consider donating any office furniture, building supplies, paint or even labor, we would greatly appreciate it," she said. "We are looking to move into the building in August but will first need to make some necessary changes. Phase one will require us to brighten the walls, create an interview room, furnish the video equipment, lay new flooring and make three of our doors wheel chair accessible. "Any other purchases that are made will help furnish chairs/sofas/tables for the interview room and offices. We would also like to build a fenced-in playground for the kids to relax while others are being interviewed, purchase signs for parking and one that displays our center's name. " The Kalin's Center is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization so your donation is applicable for IRS tax credit. For more information go to the center's website at www.kalinscenter.org or call (936) 545-9455 or (936) 544-1624.