Faith Refuge For Women, A Shelter In The Works

After only a few months of fundraising, Texoma has already come together to provide almost half of the money needed for a new women's shelter.

Big plans are in the works for the Faith Refuge For Women, which as Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers found out, will one day provide a place for Texoma women in need to seek shelter and recovery services.

"There's many homeless women in this city. Many places where people aren't aware. You see boarded up houses, they live there, river basin and out toward the Walmart on the highway. Plus, the ones living in motels prostituting themselves out," Carole Moreno said.

The face of the homeless is shifting to women with mental illness and addiction and families with children.

That has, over time, made the need for a women's-only shelter much more prevalent in the Wichita Falls area.

"There's a constant distraction of having men and women together. We can separate the women then they can stay more focused on what they're doing. They can really concentrate more on the program and its overall better for men and women," Moreno said.

This past spring, Faith Mission purchased an old church property on Hatton Road.

Since then, a task force of about 40 has been drawing up plans and fundraising for the project.

We wanted to see how things are going so far and found out the future looks bright.

They've already raised almost $1.5 million for the $3.2 million project.

"What's really cool is all the women who are on program give. When we look at that giving it's not just people with deep pockets and money. It's the least of these it's the ones who have so little to give and yet they give freely," Capital Campaign Rep. Kim Sizemore said.

The construction of several new buildings along with the renovation of the current ones are set to begin next spring.

When complete, the facility will have nearly 50 beds for women and eight family rooms along with classrooms, a workout facility, commercial kitchen and dining room.

"The property sits on about three acres. And even when all the new construction is complete, there will still be enough room out here for a safe area for the kiddos to play and a designated area for a fresh vegetable garden."

But, the facility will offer more than just shelter.  It will also have a recovery program to help women get their lives back on track.

"They are no longer the worthless person they thought they were. They walk away with self esteem and integrity and self worth they didn't have when they came," Moreno said.

Faith Refuge will be a place women can find safety, guidance, and educate themselves to re-enter the work world.

"It's a powerful force to be reckoned with when you find a woman whose life is changed," Moreno said.

The Faith Refuge for Women task force hopes to have the remainder of their funding raised by the end of this year.

They hope to be moved into the facility in December 2011.

If you are interested in donating, you can find more information by clicking here.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6