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Community Crisis Center in Kilgore files for bankruptcy, closes

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POSTED: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 4:56pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 5:14pm

Kilgore families in crisis will now have to travel farther for a safe place to stay.

After 27 years of operation, The Community Crisis Center in Kilgore is no longer.

The crisis center served as a haven for victims of family violence and abuse.

The Community Crisis center, on Broadway, was forced to close Monday.

Executive Director Bob Caster tells KETK the center filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to outstanding debts from the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

"We paid off a lot of bills ... we were about $200,000 in the hole when I came a year and a half ago," Caster said. "We paid that down to about 70- to $80,000."

Caster didn't join the organization until 2009, and although he and his team did all they could to right a wrong, it just wasn't enough.

"They wanted us to pay them for what had occurred before I got here and my business manager got here," he said. "And so that puts us behind the eight ball."

There were two families staying at the center when it shut its doors for the last time.

Caster says they were able to find a place for them, but he worries about future families.

"Where does a woman go is she's beaten, abused, raped, whatever it might be, except a place like this?" Caster said.

The center's stock of clothing and canned goods was sent to Helping Hands, a nearby food pantry in Kilgore.

"They have served the community well for many years and helped a lot of people and so it's a big loss for our community," said Amanda Mohn of Helping Hands. "But we will continue to do all we can for those in need."

To Caster, the ones who will suffer the most are the innocent victims.

"I'm worried for the people ... it's sad it's been taken away from us," Caster said.

KETK spoke with a representative of the Women's Center of East Texas today, which is in Longview.

She says they are happy and ready to take in families from Kilgore if need be, as well as at the East Texas Crisis Center in Tyler.

Hotlines:

Women's Center of East TX: 800-441-5555

East TX Crisis Center: 800-333-0358

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