Fort Bend Women’s Center was started in 1980 as a crisis hotline for those living with domestic violence or sexual assault in Fort Bend County. Over the years, while our mission has remained focused on helping these individuals and their children, our programs have grown to meet our community’s increasing needs.
Since those small beginnings in 1980, when our crisis hotline provided emergency counseling and referrals, Fort Bend Women’s Center has developed to include our residential shelter and an extensive range of services for those affected by domestic and sexual violence. Our crisis hotline now runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year.
We have also grown our services for the children of those affected by domestic violence and/or sexual assault, helping to build stronger families who can go on to build new lives for themselves, free of fear and violence.
Our first resale center was opened in 1989 as a means of providing funds for our growing services. Today we operate four stores and two donation centers across Fort Bend. Our PennyWise stores not only generate much needed income, they also provide our clients with emergency clothing, and when they leave the shelter, the essentials for their new homes.
In 1992, we also introduced transitional housing assistance, recognizing that many of our clients need temporary help to live independently as they work towards self-sufficiency. This program, which includes in-home visits from our team as well as rental and other assistance, has reduced the rate of clients returning to their abusers from 65% to 10%.
In 2001, we relocated our Residential program to our current state of the art shelter, increasing our capacity and adding much needed facilities such as an on-site clinic, a learning resource center and improved recreational facilities for our residents’ children.
We further expanded our services with the launch of our education and outreach program, which aims to prevent abusive relationships from starting, working from elementary to college level and in community settings across Fort Bend County.
Download a more detailed timeline of our history.