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Featured Article

Nonprofit of the Month

The Center for Healing by Lifepath Systems

Article by Center for Healing

Photography by Center for Healing and Joseph Rivers

Originally published in Allen City Lifestyle

On May 6th, 2023, the North Texas community was struck by an incredible tragedy at Allen Premium Outlets when nine people, including the perpetrator, were killed during a shooting — the youngest of whom was a three-year-old boy — and seven others were injured. This event gripped the nation as graphic images were distributed freely on social media and in news reports, leaving many feeling hopeless, helpless, and disturbed. Out of this tragedy emerged The Center for Healing, a resiliency center looking to make a difference and help the community come together and heal.

Studies show that exposure to tragedies like the one in Allen can cause communal trauma that continues to impact communities, sometimes unknowingly, even years after the event. The Center for Healing was founded by LifePath Systems, the behavioral health authority of Collin County, to provide support and resources to those affected by the shooting. LifePath Systems recognized that there was a great need for a place where people could gather to heal and find strength in each other. The goal is to create a safe and welcoming space where people can share their stories, connect with others who have experienced similar trauma, learn coping skills to help them move forward, or simply spend time doing activities in a place that they know they'll be understood.

The Center offers a variety of programs and services to meet the needs of the community including individual and group counseling, art therapy and support groups for survivors and their families. The team also has the ability to provide community based groups and workshops anywhere in Collin County, offering educational workshops on the impact on trauma and community resiliency. The Center's Director, Debbie Clark, is insistent on educating the Collin County community that this is a resiliency center, not a mental health clinic. "As trained therapists and counselors, we are prepared to offer mental health services," Debbie assures, "but more than that, we want The Center to be a place where people can simply come and enjoy a safe space with their family." The Center also hosts workshops and events where members of the community can spend time doing crafts, enjoying refreshments, and participating in activities, such as playing with therapy dogs or taking pictures with Santa Claus. Since The Center for Healing was founded through a grant from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), any person aware of the shooting, no matter where they are located, can make use of the center at absolutely no cost to them.

Over the last several months, the resiliency center has provided a much-needed resource for those affected by the shooting and has helped to promote healing and hope, demonstrating the power of community support and the importance of prioritizing mental health in the wake of trauma.

The Center for Healing is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community. It was founded in response to a tragedy, but it has become so much more – a beacon of hope and a source of strength for those in need. The Center serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always a way forward and that together our community can come through great tragedy. 

If you or a loved one have been affected in any way by the tragic shooting in Allen, or would simply like to talk about it, you can reach The Center for Healing at 469-963-3561, or visit their website at