New child advocacy center to be beacon of hope for community

$28.5 million facility to be completed by April 2019

By Max Massey - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Bexar County's only child advocacy center is getting a new $28.5 million facility.

ChildSafe helps local children and families deal with the trauma involved in child abuse. Its current offices are inconveniently located for the people it helps and there's not enough room.

"If you have 4,000 or 5,000 children abused, something is wrong in the community," Rev. Ronald Benson said.

Benson, a pastor of an East Side church, said he and other community members are excited about the new ChildSafe Salado Creek campus.

The facility, which is expected to be complete by April 2019, might not be possible without the help of Harvey Najim, who donated $5 million to ChildSafe.

"While this is an exciting day for ChildSafe, I think it’s a sad day for San Antonio that we have to spend this kind of money to build this facility to make sure these kids, that their fears are turned into hope," Najim said.

The president and CEO of ChildSafe said the new facility will be a beacon of hope for the community.

"It’s something I think will be very good for the East Side and the entire city of San Antonio. Child abuse is rampant and we need programs that will intervene, treat and help those who have been abused," Benson said.

It's a cause close to Najim's heart and a cause he said will make the city a better place.

"It’s about the kids. And I’ll tell you, I think the most important thing we can do is to ensure that our children from all areas of San Antonio and Bexar County are safe and protected. That’s all we can do," Najim said.

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