In the spring of 2015, Women’s Shelter of South Texas staff and the Board of Directors began discussing the possibility of a name change. At the July 15, 2015 Board of Directors meeting, Kailo Communications, Inc. was chosen from several proposals to conduct community awareness research on the agency services and name. Kailo Communications, Inc. was contracted by the agency in September 2015 and began the community research in the fall of 2015. After about one year of discussion by the agency’s Board of Directors and staff, as well as analysis of the community awareness research, the Board approved the development of a strategic task force to research this initiative and develop a proposal for the rebranding of the Women’s Shelter of South Texas.
This recommendation was approved by the Board of Directors at the October 12, 2016 quarterly board meeting and comes from a collaboration of committee members, volunteers, staff, community members, and clients served by the agency. The result is The Purple Door.
When the agency opened its doors in 1978 our name defined us. As the third shelter to open in the State of Texas, our name went right to the heart of our mission and needed no explanation. It was what was needed at a time when intervening in a relationship was a radical concept.
Since that time the Women’s Shelter of South Texas has grown to include services to all victims of intimate partner violence including men, children, and the LGBTQ+ community, providing not only shelter, but services that assist victims in their journey to becoming a survivor.
The Women’s Shelter of South Texas will consider itself successful when we close our doors because we are no longer needed. To that end, prevention has risen to the same level of importance as our other services. Prevention of violence work is very important if we are to end the attitudes and value constructs that are supportive of gender inequality and violence as a means to intimidate and control.
The Purple Door will move the agency forward as we continue to provide life-saving and life-enhancing services while at the same time work with citizens to transform our communities. Some may believe it to be a lofty goal, but should the goal of a community without violence be considered such?
In January 2018, the Women’s Shelter of South Texas celebrated its 40th anniversary and unveiled our new name The Purple Door. Our hope is that we will honor our past and the literal thousands of women, men, and children that have called our shelter home or availed themselves of our services by opening the door to a future where no one is afraid to be in their own home; the door to a future where healthy relationships are nurtured; the door to a new beginning – The Purple Door.