Lubbock non-profit sustains damage due to heavy rains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/13/10

Lubbock non-profit sustains damage due to heavy rains

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) –  A local non-profit is trying to figure out how to pay for damage caused by the flooding. Roof damage at the Children's Advocacy Center in Lubbock could cost between $40,000 and $80,000.

The 13,000 square foot roof that protects the Advocacy Center could not keep the recent rain out. "I try not to think about it too hard because I just want to cry. I have to stay positive," said Carmen Aguirre, the executive director at the Children's Advocacy Center.

Fixing the damage is not in the non-profit's lean budget. The center interviews on average 1,000 kids between the ages of two and 17 each year. The bulk of their cases involve sexual abuse. "Sometimes we ask children sensitive questions. If you can imagine telling how someone sexually abused you. Children's voices get low and they whisper because they are embarrassed to tell their stories," added Aguirre.

The Lubbock Area Foundation recently gave the center a grant to purchase specialized equipment to record interviews that investigators use and even take to court. The technology can pick up even the faintest of whispers. It was in what used to be their best observation room and it is currently in the hall covered with plastic. When the ceiling in that room collapsed, it fell on the pricey equipment. The center does not know if the technology still works.

There are two forensic interviewers with really only one working room. Just down the hall investigators can listen in and watch the interview and communicate with the interviewer. On complicated cases, there can be multiple investigators from different agencies and now there is hardly enough room for two people to watch the interviews.

Aguirre has called the city and will wait on the insurance adjuster, but isn't positive the damage will be covered. She and her staff hope showers stay out of our forecast until they can pay for repairs. "We are troopers. We have to be there for investigators to help the children who are abused," Aguirre tells KCBD NewsChannel 11.

For now, Aguirre's staff is using portable interviewing equipment until the room can be replaced. The center also sustained damage in the office supply room, the janitorial closet, and the electronics room. The main hallway and parking garage also sustained damage.

If you would like to help the center with repair costs you can donate at First Bank and Trust branches under a fund set up for the Children's Advocacy Center.

If you need to report damage and live inside the city of Lubbock call 3-1-1. If you live in Lubbock county you can call 775-1600.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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