The existing building space will be used for administrative offices, which are expected to officially relocate by July at the latest. The new building will be up to 30,000 square feet to house the shelter and more office space, which is anticipated to be completed by late 2024.
The fire made the shelter's original location "uninhabitable."
"The back corner of the building sustained substantial metal damage, and the roof was punctured, and then the AC was on when the fire occurred, so it actually had soot throughout the entire building," Julie Strentzch, the center's CEO said.
The nonprofit organization works to provide crisis and prevention services to those who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault. The center paused its services for about two weeks to regroup and then continued serving its clients.
"We put it on pause for two weeks to figure it out, but then we kept providing services and figured out a way to do it," Strentzch said.
After moving four times to different locations over the summer, the center found interim shelter back in August 2022.
The new shelter will offer services that are trauma informed to meet the needs of the county for the next 20-30 years and is estimated to cost $8.2 million. Strentzch noted that the center's new location is surrounded by a number of nonprofits, making it more accessible to children and families; Alamo Regional Transit, public transportation operated by the Alamo Area Council of Governments, runs in the area. The traffic pattern also makes it safer for younger children compared to the shelter's previous location at East Commons Street.
Strentzch noted that leasing additional locations is costly and emphasized the need for community support.
"We continue to need the community's help to help meet our fiscal obligations every year and to rebuild the shelter," she said.
Those who are interested in supporting the Crisis Center of Comal County can purchase a table or donate a raffle item to the center's upcoming benefit gala; donate or purchase items at their Comal Thrift Shoppe; or volunteer. www.crisiscenternb.org. 830-620-4357.