Midland County Provides Help in Crisis

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Without the help of the Crisis Intervention Unit, some of the families evicted from the Cedar Elm Apartments could've ended up out on the streets.

So, NewsWest 9 is taking a closer look at the group and how it helps people get their lives back on track.

The beeping noise from a pager means there's a crisis and volunteers with the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) are on their way to help.

"We are here to assist any victim in the County of Midland," CIU Coordinator, Kay Wesson said. "Whether they're victims of a suicide, homicide, motor vehicle fatality vehicle accident; we have volunteers on call 24/7 that go out at the bequest of law enforcement to get with the victims and offer them any assistance we have."

It's both a blessing and a curse, but many volunteers like Tammy Horton, know exactly how it feels to be in the victim's shoes.

"I worked at a business that was robbed," Horton said. "Since that incident, I've wanted to help other victims. When I was a victim I was in another state. So, I didn't have a crisis intervention team come help me. I was on my own."

Now, she works to make sure that's not the case for people in Midland County.

The team is comprised of two paid workers and just over 30 volunteers who've completed 6 weeks of training to handle any situation.

After they get paged, the volunteers meet up as a two person team and get into one of their vans and head over to the scene.

Responding to crisis can have its toll, but they say seeing the relief on a victim's face makes it all worth it.

"Most of them are so relieved to realize that there is someone who actually cares about them to make sure they get the assistance that they need at that time," Wesson said. "They're not used to having their lives in such turmoil and we just help them get back on the right course."

Wesson says she's always looking for new volunteers, but says all members of the team must have a clean criminal record.

To learn more about the unit and when they're having their next training session you can get in contact with them by clicking this link.

The Crisis Intervention Unit says Cedar Elm Apartment families still in need of a place to stay should call Mary Hardin at Helping Hands of Midland. Their number is 528-6265.