Children’s shelter seeks assistance

By Pam Millican



The Children’s Shelter, an emergency placement shelter for children in Van Zandt County, is undergoing some major changes.

The shelter is owned and maintained by a board of trustees who contracts with Azleway to provide “house parents” who oversee the children and day-to-day running of the shelter.

 “Most people don’t realize there is a children’s shelter in Van Zandt County and we have been in the same location for 37 years,” said Kerry Cartier, shelter board president.

The location of the facility is undisclosed for the safety of the children.

When Child Protective Services has to remove a child from his or her home for the child’s safety due to parental neglect or when the there is no one to care for the child due to the parent’s incarceration, CPS contacts Azleway.

Azleway oversees the placement of the child into an emergency shelter. The child stays at the shelter until her or she can be united with a family member or another placement can be made. 

Azleway contracts with several facilities but The Children’s Shelter is the only one located in Van Zandt County.

The shelter is just like any other residential home in its vicinity. Girl’s rooms are on one end of the house and boys are on the other. The Azleway house parents live-in full time to provide the children with a home-like atmosphere.

Due to various factors, the VZC Children’s Shelter board of trustees had dwindled to two members including Kerry Cartier and Fruitvale ISD Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Jones, so Leta Parker and I were asked to serve on the board.

The board’s mandate is to keep the shelter open and in good condition while Azleway’s duty is to provide house parents and placement of children in the home.

The Children’s Shelter board receives no money from Azleway for the care of the shelter and therefore rely on charitable contributions to pay for insurance and the upkeep to the shelter. The board also pays for Christmas and birthday presents for the children at the shelter as well as items they children need for school or sports.

The Children’s Shelter board is currently seeking tax-deductible donations to assist with several repairs to the shelter. Any size monetary gift would be a blessing and greatly appreciated.

Donations can be sent to Kerry Cartier, Children’s Shelter Board President, P.O. Box 250, Fruitvale TX 75127.

Cartier and Jones are also available to speak to community groups regarding the shelter. For more information, call Cartier at 903-833-4223 or email


For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Wills Point Chronicle or pick up a copy from one of our vendors.