The open house will help inform people about the center as well as recognize the people who made it possible to open. C.B. Ray Thompson will be guest speaking at the event.
Commonwealth Attorney Karen Blondell said that everyone is very excited about the opening of the center. She stated that “Ray of Hope” would be of tremendous value to Bell County.
“We are grateful to the people who donated the building and the funds to make this center possible.”
The director of the center, Gina Johnson, will be recognized at the open house for her work in making the center possible as will the donors of the building, Ray and Sandy Long.
“The opening of this center was based on the needs of the abused children in Bell County,” Johnson said while discussing the motivation behind opening the center. “We have to take care of our Bell County children.”
Prior to the opening of the Ray of Hope Children’s Advocacy Center, children had to be transported up to 100 miles away to receive services. The opening of this center will enable children to get the services they need at home.
Ray of Hope will be providing medical examinations and counseling for child victims as well as forensic interviewing. The center is also providing training for schools and the community to recognize the signs of an abused child.
“The training for the schools and the community will assist in helping law enforcement prosecute the people who abuse children,” said Blondell. “The child is the victim and we need to protect them.”
The center’s mission is to maximize coordinated responses for addressing neglect, and the mental, emotional, and physical needs of victimized children and non-offending parents or caregivers.
“We want to repair, restore, and rebuild the lives of abused children in Bell County,” said Johnson. “That is our goal.”
The project dates back to February 2010 when the first meetings were held for the center.0