Collaboration

With a new facility opening next month on the square in Springtown, child and adult victims of physical and sexual abuse who live in northern Parker County will no longer have to travel to Weatherford for counseling.

On Tuesday, Freedom House and the Children's Advocacy Center of Parker County jointly signed a lease agreement for an office space in downtown Springtown. The two non-profits are based in Weatherford and have separate locations that provide counseling services to clients there.

"We are excited to collaborate with Freedom House to extend the reach of both organizations and make it easier for our clients in the north part of the county to come to therapy," said CACPC Executive Director Cheryl Bullock.

Freedom House will see its clients, survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, on Mondays and Tuesdays. The CACPC will use Wednesdays and Thursdays at the facility to counsel with its clients, child victims of physical and sexual abuse. Both organizations also serve and will provide counseling for family members of victims of violent crime whose lives have also been impacted.

"Working together, we are now able to help our community where they live in a way that we may not have been able to do on our own," said Freedom House Executive Director Patti Wilson. "Cheryl and I have both heard from people we counsel with that the additional time and expense of driving long distances to come to treatment is a difficult burden to bear. 

"This new facility will allow us to serve those same people an additional 30 minutes closer to home, saving them both time and money."

District Attorney Jeff Swain, who serves as a member of the board of directors with both non-profits, said he has worked with victims in sexual abuse cases who did not receive the counseling they needs because of travel challenges.

"What Cheryl and Patti have made happen with this new satellite facility will be a tremendous asset to Springtown and the entire north part of Parker County," he said.

"For the kids that we help, being an additional half hour closer to them will help those who receive therapy during the school day to miss less class time," Bullock said. "When you consider round trip transportation of an hour or more, that time can really add up."

With two days for each organization, the non-profits will either split up Fridays or bring in another charitable organization on that day.

"We have both been looking for a location in Springtown for a while," Bullock said. "But we found this one by luck or maybe a bit of divine intervention. One of our counselors happened to be shopping in the store that is currently in our future location and saw that they were packing. When she found out they were moving, she told me and I contacted the owner immediately to see what they were asking in rent. I then contacted Patti and our partnership on this project began."

Wilson described the two organizations as very interwoven.

"Both have cases involving domestic and sexual abuse and both do a lot of counseling for members of our community," she said. "What's great is how well we work together and support each other. We're both all about healing those who have been impacted by violent crime."

The primary locations of both organizations will remain in Weatherford with staff traveling to Springtown on their respective days.

For more information or to donate to the nonprofits, visit www.cacparkercounty.org or www.freedomhousepc.org.

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