By Alicia Neaves
ODESSA - The Crisis Center of Odessa is getting a makeover. Plans were just approved for a brand new building. It will be bigger, better and most importantly safer.
"Odessa can do better than what we have currently in place," Karen Hildebrand, Executive Director of The Crisis Center, said.
In 2013, Ector County had 2,676 cases of family violence. Midland County had 898.
The Crisis Center of Odessa provides shelter and services to these victims. Many cases go unreported.
The current building is a leased facility not built specifically for its use.
"There's a lot of drawbacks to it. We don't have enough space. We only have six bedrooms and that means we have 30 people sharing six bedrooms and two bathrooms," Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand met with architects who approved the plan just last week.
"When you live in a home with five or six people and you are sharing two bathrooms, sometimes that is a little crowded. So you can imagine what this is like. The loads of laundry that we do, we have two sets of washers and dryers that go out constantly," Hildebrand said.
The new building will house between 40 and 50 residents and have much more space to alleviate overcrowding.
"These families are going through a traumatic time. It's women and children in our shelter. So the close quarters of living with strangers is also an extra stress for them," Hildebrand said.
Also in the blueprints are additional elements to make the location a safer place to shelter victims and their means of transportation.
"Right now we don't have covered parking or parking that is sheltered from view. So our residents that come to stay at the shelter, if their abuser drove by, they may be able to recognize their car," Hildebrand said.
The Crisis Center predicts to be fully booked when the new space is built.