Accomodating cuts killeen
The 0,000 building project started a year ago on 3.5 acres of land donated by a local church.
Once the limestone structure was complete, two families pitched in to furnish the place, said Charlie Wise, director of development for Central Texas Hospitality House. “The money for the building was raised 100 percent from private donations with no local, state or federal government funds.” Although the hospitality house formally opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday, it will start receiving day visitors Saturday and will welcome overnight guests starting Nov. No reservations will be accepted until a week before the opening.
Since 2000, CTHH volunteers have provided day services to families visiting inmates at area prisons.
As needs grew, the group began working toward a place to provide food and lodging for prison visitors coming long distances while short on money.
Operated by a nonprofit charity, the hospitality house will provide temporary overnight accomodations for families visiting inmates at nearby state prison units.
Designed to “meet the spiritual and practical needs of the families of prisoners,” the hospitality house at 708 State Highway 36 is a short drive from any of the six Gatesville prison units, and also will serve loved ones visiting inmates at units in nearby Burnett, San Saba and Marlin.
Eric Guerrero, director of TDCJ Region VI, spoke at the Sunday opening.
Two days before the ceremony, last-minute details for the opening were tended to by a group of volunteers from the CTHH board of directors, including Kay Mc Cleary, vice chairwoman, Lenora Sappington, treasurer, and board members Judy Dreyer and Trae Kendrick.
More than 100,000 prison visits were made in Central Texas last year, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice figures, and more than 84,000 of those were in Gatesville.
More than 11,000 inmates are incarcerated in the hospitality house service area, and more than 8,000 of those are in Gatesville.