San Saba County has provided help for victims of domestic violence by forming the Dove Project over 10 years ago. Dove was "under the umbrella" of the San Saba City Council, funded by grants and also city and county contributions and fund raising projects. The Dove Project had some funding problems in 2009 and was forced to close for a short time. When they were able to open again in July, 2009, Malissa Mims was hired as Case Manager. Also in 2009 they moved out from "under the umbrella" of the City Council and are now a non-profit organization with a 501C status and have a Board of Directors.
In December, 2009 the Board of Directors hired Malissa Mims to be the Executive Director. Malissa is very familiar with the county because she was born and raised in San Saba. In fact, the building that houses the Dove Project was a hospital and Malissa was born in the room that is now a living room area for clients. Malissa and her younger brother Frank were raised by loving grandparents, Yoko Lackey and the late William Fletcher Lackey. She attended San Saba ISD, and after getting a GED, received an Associate degree in Mental Health at McClennan Community College in Waco. While attending MCC, Malissa was employed as a Child Care Counselor at a private Christian Children’s Home. In 2001 Malissa became the bride of Jake Mims, also born and raised in San Saba and they made their home in San Saba. Jake’s parents are Richard & Renee Mims and grandparents, Fred & Anne Mims and Bill & Sally Wiley. Malissa was employed with the Texas Youth Commission for five years as a Case Manager. In 2006 the couple moved to Corpus Christi where Jake was employed and Malissa attended Texas A & M getting an Associates degree in Psychology and working towards a Bachelor’s degree. In 2008 they welcomed the arrival of their son, Jadon Harbor Mims, who was named by his great-grandfather Lackey. The family moved back to San Saba in 2009 before Malissa could complete her Bachelor’s degree but much more rewarding was the time she and her son could go fishing and spend time with her grandfather before he died at the end of 2009. Malissa was thankful for the opportunity to work as a Case Manager for the Dove Project.
The facility has two offices for staff; a waiting area; a bathroom; a room used for therapy, legal aid, CPS and counseling; and shelter areas that include a living room, laundry facilities, kitchen, a bedroom for one individual and a bedroom with two bunkbeds and a full-size bed. It is a secure place with the outside door locked at all times. There is a small unattached building for storing donated furnishings and clients housewares. Twice a month the Food Bank donates food to the facility and a local furniture store donates secondhand furniture. Malissa is overwhelmed by the generosity of others who donate items and funds and at the present time she has only one office worker who is a wonderful very efficient volunteer, and others clean the facility for community service hours. The Ministerial Alliance is an important contact with their Help Line. A grant in November, 2009 in the amount of $30,000 from the Texas Criminal Justice Division has been approved. Monthly grants from TCJD will be put in place when the scheduling is back to normal. However, funds are needed before the grant money arrives. The City Council approved $5,000.00 at their February 8th meeting which will help. The process of hiring a Case Worker and office help will take place when the funds are available.
There are certain procedures and confidentiality when helping a client adjust to a life that is void of violence and fear. Providing licensed professional counselors for individual, children, family, and marriage; WIC for nutritional assistance for younger children; legal aid; assist with job applications; and housing after they leave the shelter that may include furnishings are some of the services offered by the Dove Project.
The Board of Directors for the Dove Project meet monthly. The members are: Stan Weik, Tony Jacobs, Brenna Troncoso, Lindy Schultz, Dee St. John and Sabrina Maultsby. Sabrina Maultsby is the financial secretary and a former employee of the Dove Project.
Malissa has such a zeal for her work and compassion to help the helpless. She does not want the Project to close again and will do everything she can to prevent this and has faith in the Board of Directors that, together, they all have an important part of improving lives and serving the community.