Harold's House hopes to open Nacogdoches office

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Since 2011 Harold's House has served Nacogdoches County by conducting interviews, exams and counseling for abused children.

The tremendous service now takes place at the Lufkin headquarters, but that's likely to change.

Efforts are underway to keep Nacogdoches children and their families close to home.

Harold's House in Lufkin successfully serves Nacogdoches County, in addition to Sabine and Angelina counties. The homey setting helps ease the anxieties for abused children, their families, and law enforcement.

However, it can be even better.

"What we want to do is put a facility, a Harold's House facility, in Nacogdoches so it's more convenient for law enforcement and families to use our services," said Laura Squyres, the executive director of Harold's House.

One fundraiser helps make it happen.

This past weekend, "Badges, Bags and Bingo," a function where law enforcement officials model designer hand bags to be won through a game of bingo put Harold's House over the top.

"After we paid expenses we raised a little over $28,000," said Lisa King, a Harold's House Nacogdoches board member. "There were 550 tickets sold and the place was packed and it was just a fun event for everybody."

There's enough money to take Harold's House to the next step of house hunting. It starts with a lease, with a goal to buy.

"Of course it has to be family friendly, child friendly, a home environment and not just an office building somewhere," King said.

The Lufkin facility is the model. It's where little children to adults undergo recorded forensic interviews. Then there's the sexual assault nurse examiner room. Specialized furnishings and trained nurses make it as tolerable as possible. Still there's no need to add a stressful drive when going through something so traumatic.

"We hope to have two full time employees over in Nacogdoches. I think the numbers will increase and we'll definitely have the need for that," Squyres said.

A second Harold's House in Nacogdoches will be utilized.

Any person with leads on appropriate rental property in Nacogdoches should contact Harold's house in Lufkin or a member of the Nacogdoches Advisory Board. Advocates want to have the Nacogdoches Harold's House open by mid-September.

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