Much like protecting our borders, Governor Greg Abbott is making protecting our children a top priority.
An issue many have been fighting for here in the Rio Grande Valley. During his State of the State Address, the governor announced one of his emergency items is to reform Child Protective Services.
Governor Greg Abbott says, “If ever, we have an emergency item in Texas, this is it. And I am declaring CPS reform my first emergency item in this legislative session.”
Kristen Millon – Valley Haven Executive Director says, “I’m really excited about it. I think this will be a really good thing for our children. And CPS case workers they definitely could use the help. And doing any kind of reforms to make things better for our kids is definitely a major plus in my books.”
State lawmakers and advocates are on board with the need to reform the child protection system and find ways to better serve our children.
“If you do nothing else this session, cast a vote to help save the life of a child.” Said Governor Abbott.
And for the past year and a half, It’s been Kristen’s mission to help children closer to home by opening the very first emergency kids’ shelter in the valley.
“I think it’s just crazy that we didn’t have anything here for them and when we found out we didn’t, the first thing we said was ‘we have to do something. We have to do something for our kids and it’s definitely been a blessing.”
Over the next month or two Valley Haven will be serving up to 32 children at a time. It’ll be equipped with living and sleeping areas. As well as an interview area for CPS workers.
“We really just want to make sure that every child that sets foot through our doors, when they drive by Valley Haven as adults, we don’t want them to cringe at the thought of being at a shelter for however long they were here. We want them to say, you know what, they took care of me and they made me feel safe, and I was okay when I was there. We want them to feel happy even though it’s a bad time in their lives.” Said Kristen Million.
Currently, Valley Haven is looking to hire several employees to help run the shelter. They also welcome volunteers to help care for the children.
For more information on working, volunteering, or donating to valley haven, you can find them online at valleyhaveninc.org