Safety and a New Life for Women in Crisis (Dallas-Fort Worth)

  • Local Projects
  • 2015

Lisa Rose and 11 other women in north Texas began meeting weekly to discuss their faith and how they could apply it to help “women in crisis” in their area. This eventually evolved into a nonprofit that zeroed in on a wrenching problem: There were not enough spots in the region where women and children could find help when fleeing abusers. And those that existed only allowed residence for 30 days, which was not enough time for most women to line up alternate housing and jobs and get their life back on track (which is why the abused typically return to their abusers several times before leaving for good).

The donors and organizers behind Rose’s nonprofit developed a vision of “a supportive living community where women and their children in crisis can discover a new path for permanent change.” They decided to offer a wide range of recuperative services—initially food, clothing, housing, and medical care, then counseling, life-skills mentoring, childcare, and education, and finally help with job placement and life on their own. It would be a faith-based program infused with Christian love and guidance, and it would be entirely privately funded, without government money.

Rose’s husband, Matt, is chairman of the BNSF Railway and became involved in raising $28 million for the project. He eventually acquired 61 acres of land and helped the group build a freestanding community of 96 apartments, a general store, and a clothing boutique, between Dallas and Fort Worth. The Gatehouse opened in 2015. In addition to Lisa and Matt Rose, other major endowers of the program were Mark and April Anthony and the Walton Family Foundation. Large contributions were also provided by the Rees-Jones, Sid Richardson, Amon Carter, Mabee, and Washington foundations, and donors like the Perot, Rowling, Corman, and Albritton families.