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North Texas Domestic Violence Shelter Moves Counseling Online, On Phone During Coronavirus Outbreak



PLANO, TX – A domestic violence shelter in Plano is seeing an increase in calls for help from abused women, its CEO said.

It comes at time when offering that help is more challenging than ever, but counseling rooms are empty inside the Hope’s Door New Beginnings Center in East Plano.

“We thought that was the safest thing to do for our clients,” said CEO Christina Coultas.

Coultas said the rooms are where victims of spousal abuse seek comfort and confide in counselors.

Now that’s happening online or over the phone because of COVID-19.

“It’s important for our clients to know that we’re still here and they are not alone,” she said.

But Coultas said there is now concern that abusers could eavesdrop on what are supposed to be confidential meetings.

It’s one of several challenges caused by coronavirus that include a shortage of food for the two area shelters and cleaning supplies to make the sure the 43 woman living in group homes with their children stay healthy.

“Our shelter is lacking some critical supplies,” she said. “We are concerned for the long haul that they have the resources they have to keep the shelter clean to keep everybody safe and well.”

This place where advocates say women are supposed to restart their lives and emerge from isolation may be home much longer than expected.

“Everything is on hold. We’ve had clients already lose their job we’ve had clients who can’t really seek housing right now,” she said.

Hope’s Door has also had to temporarily shut down its resale store and cancel its annual fundraising dinner.