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OUR HISTORY

OUR HISTORY

Open Arms has been serving the Concho Valley for 25 years. We began as a program of the Mental Health Mental Retardation (MHMR) Services in the late 1980’s. In 1991, in response to increased need for services, Assault Victim Services (AVS) broke away and became incorporated.

We've been acknowledged as a superior organization on several occasions. In 1990, AVS was honored to receive the Governor’s Award for the Outstanding Crime Victim Assistance Program in Texas. In 1992, the Winged Victory Award in the field of prevention from the Child Abuse Intervention Training Project followed. The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault presented AVS/Open Arms staff with Educator of the Year three times, in 1999, 2002 and 2014. In 2017, TAASA awarded Open Arms with the Community Empowerment Award.

In May 2005, Assault Victim Services changed its name to the Concho Valley Rape Crisis Center. Owing to our expanded services, CVRCC became Open Arms Rape Crisis Center and LGBT+ Services in October 2016.

ABOUT US

Where We Serve

We are proud to offer our victim services, education and LGBT+ support to the 170,000 residents of Tom Green County and its ten surrounding counties: Coke, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Kimble, Reagan, Runnels, Schleicher and Sutton.

Our Mission

To create social change within the Concho Valley, by providing prevention, education, advocacy, and a safe place to foster healing for survivors of sexual violence and gender discrimination. We envision a community that stands together against sexual violence and all forms of discrimination.

Safe Space

Open Arms respects all aspects of people including race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, religion, body shape, size, and ability. Our office, our events, and our web site are all considered safe spaces. All are welcome.

OUR PARTNERS

Open Arms is proud to work with many outstanding organizations to help serve our community. These include:

THE OPEN ARMS BOARD

Carol Thornhill

President

Deric Valdez

Vice President

Erin Ashworth-King

Treasurer

Marisa Thompson

Secretary

Shelly Bailey

Board Member

Kelly LaJoie

Board Member

Cody Brenek

Board Member

Mona Myers

Board Member

Jeff Smith

Board Member

MEET THE TEAM

Karla Payne, MS, LPC

Executive Director

Karla is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining a total crisis intervention, advocacy, educational prevention program, and LGBT+ support for Open Arms and to assure sound management and control of the corporation.

Karla Payne, MS, LPC

Heather Hodge, LMSW, CA

Director of Victim Services

Heather is available to meet with clients/survivors and secondary victims of sexual assault in the office Monday through Friday. She also conducts support groups and provides advocacy services. Heather can also meet with survivors outside the Open Arms office.

Heather Hodge, LMSW, CA

Crystal Garcia-Ward, LCDC, CHES

Director of Community Education

Crystal is available to do speaking engagements, conduct presentations, and offers primary prevention curriculum to any interested group or organization. Contact her to schedule a presentation.

Crystal Garcia-Ward, LCDC, CHES

K’Danz Cruz

Director of LGBT+ Services and Community Outreach

K’Danz is responsible for the development and implementation of education and awareness of LGBT+ issues and providing victim assistance to the LGBT+ community. Additionally, she offers support groups and other victim assistance for individuals in the LGBT+ population and their supporters.

K’Danz Cruz

Amanda Mason

Director of Volunteer Services

Amanda is responsible for the recruitment and recognition of the agency’s volunteers. She will also be promoting the agency so that more people will know about our services and what we offer.

Amanda Mason

Racheal Nash

On-Call Advocate

Racheal is on call after hours and on weekends/holidays to answer the hotline and offer medical accompaniment.

Racheal Nash

Ginger Guetlein

On-Call Advocate

Ginger is on call after hours and on weekends/holidays to answer the hotline and offer medical accompaniment.

Ginger Guetlein
  • “Violence against women [is] about a culture that views women
    as objects to be acted upon rather than fully realized human beings.”

    Jennifer Siebel-Newsome
    Miss Representation