AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — In 2020, Family Support Services endured a number of hardships including a tragic fire and of course the COVID-19 pandemic.
Family Support Services’ mission is one of great need here on the high plains.
“We provide crisis services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assaults, counseling services. We have a veteran’s resource center. We have a big education and prevention department, so we cover a lot of areas,” said Jim Womack, Family Support Services CEO.
But that mission of helping out took a big hit in January of last year.
“We were notified, this is about 3 o’ clock in the morning on January 19th that our building was on fire. When we got down there, the fire department was already there. We lost everything in the building. People lost personal affects. It was really a tragic event,” said Womack.
But the community sprang into action immediately.
“Just right off the bat, Amarillo ISD voted to allow us to work out of their space rent-free for six months. Cal Farley’s Boy’s Ranch provided a space for our counselors, even our veteran’s resource center was in the Guyon Saunders Resource Center the next day. We were just overwhelmed with community support,” said Womack.
Just three weeks after moving into their space at AISD, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing their shift to working remotely.
But it turned into a blessing in disguise.
“We figured out new ways to provide services such as counseling. We provide a lot of counseling now through telehealth services as well as crisis support services, education services,” said Womack.
Now Family Support Services has a new space of their own to work out of in Amarillo, which will help them continue their mission of helping out, thanks to the help of others.
“We’ve discovered how much the community thinks of our services. We received a lot of community support. We’ve figured out new ways to help people in need, survivors. It’s been a blessing that’s come from something very tragic,” said Womack.
Family Support Services is the only facility in Amarillo that provides a safe house for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
If you’d like to learn more about what Family Support Services does for those survivors, click here.
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