Crisis Center of Comal County resilient in its mission to rebuild new shelter after fire last spring

Officials plan new building for shelter to have more space

SAN ANTONIO – The children and women’s shelter in New Braunfels is on the path to reconstruction after a devastating fire destroyed the building last year.

Just two weeks into her new role as chief executive officer for the Crisis Center of Comal County, Julie Strentzch watched the shelter burn last spring.

Strentzch had to act quickly to get those in the shelter a new place to stay while also formulating a long-term plan for the nonprofit.

“The changing goal that happened after the fire is to rebuild, to be better, stronger, to kind of rise out of the ashes,” she said.

Nearly a year later, the nonprofit has moved into its new temporary home.

The Crisis Center of Comal County will use the old senior center building on Landa Street, and officials plan to build a new facility.

“The first phase of our vision is really getting the shelter built, building administrative offices, having two levels of shelter and more spaces,” Strentzch said.

The senior center building will then be used for house staff and the thrift store.

The construction, estimated to be around $8 million, should be complete by the end of 2024. Local and federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds have given them a foundation for the cost, but the nonprofit aims to launch its fundraising campaign in the spring.

Officials say there’s a long road to rebuilding, and they need all the help they can get.

“We need people that want to help support us during our transition time. We need people’s talent. You know, we can only afford so many staff, so people who have a talent they want to give and ... help our clients -- we need that,” she said.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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