Your Donations Make an Impact
We want to thank all of you for your amazing support this year. Your donations are making an impact on the lives of the clients we serve.
The Veterans and their families who usually visit our Texas Center Point Veterans Program represent a variety of needs as diverse as the veterans themselves. Some seek employment assistance. Some require mental health treatment to help them fully reintegrate into civilian society. Some need help finding affordable housing options for themselves or their families. These issues are just a few of those addressed by Texas Center Point Veterans Program.
Your donations make it possible for our program to offer essential services that support the individuals who stood up when their country needed them. Of the veterans participating in our programs during 2012-2013, thirty-eight percent (38%) had served in the Gulf Wars. Significantly, the percentage who served in the Gulf War and were enrolled in 2013-14 increased to 52%. This can be attributed to an overall increase in the numbers of active service members transitioning to veteran status, the reduction in forces in Iraq and Afghanistan (reducing re-enlistment) and an increase in the number of Gulf War veterans experiencing homelessness, unemployment, trauma, substance abuse, mental health problems and social displacement.
As our troops return home, Center Point strives to be a leader in innovative programs that empower our evolving veteran population with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. We hope you continue to support us and partner with us on making a difference in the lives of our heroes and their familes.
A letter from one of our program participants
How important is the Texas Vets program to me and to other veterans?
This program helped me greatly when I was in the middle of mass chaos. After losing my housing in Killeen, Tx. I decided to move to Austin so that my husband could at least be closer to his job. I did some research for veteran resources and found out about Texas Center Point. I immediately got assistance from everyone there starting with counseling services and then moving on to improving my housing situation. The staff were very thorough with me in finding out the details of what it was that I was looking for to accommodate my family. My Case Manager utilized an apartment locator that would be able to find housing for me with my financial situation being what it was. During the period of time that I was looking for housing, I was also actively involved with the Virtual Job Fairs and Job Search opportunities that were offered through Texas Center Point. I never gave up my search for employment and ended up landing a job at the Department of Public Safety. If it had not been for Texas Center Point and their wonderful staff, I don't know how I would have made it through the storm.
As a Veteran, I feel that we should never be left behind when requesting services. We as Veterans have served our country and done whatever was asked of us without any question. Why should we be questioned about the services that we deserve? Once you've lived the military life, it's very hard to transition. Civilian jobs can lay you off at any time, there's never a guarantee like there is in the military.
Depression sets in and then you find yourself out of work, out of touch with reality. Texas Center Point's staff helped me stay focused and reach my goals. I am completely grateful for all that they do.
We want to thank you for your amazing support. Global Giving has been a tremendous platform for Center Point on this new era of social media and web fundraising. The work that we do at Center Point is unique, serious and special. We touch people lives and you are part of this effort. Whether they may be a veteran returning from deployment, a homeless woman veteran with children, a veteran who needs employment, or a veteran with a mental health issue, Center Point's services facilitate the process of reintegration by helping individuals reclaim self-worth and dignity. Equipped with new skills for living and working, and assisted with employment and housing, Center Point program participants return to their communities ready to assume responsibility for themselves and others.
Center Point’s Global Giving project is focused on our Texas Veterans Program, and it is amazing to the see the work that our staff is doing in helping our veterans, but you should feel proud because your donations are essential in helping our participants succeed.
Our program serves underserved veterans in the surrounding area of Travis, Bell, Williamson and Bastrop counties. Most of the veterans live below the federal poverty line, unemployed and homeless.
Often the veterans we serve do not have clothing for job interviews, or clothing for day-to-day living. In addition, the majority of our women veterans lack or do not have adequate clothing. In one of our most recent activities we distributed 50 Walmart Gift Cards to assist on this critical issue, as well as providing vouchers to purchase food.
We have also assisted a good number of participants with rent deposits, and emergency rental assistance as homelessness is becoming a big issue among our veterans. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's most recent “point in time” count of homeless veterans found roughly 50,000 on a night in January when a spot survey was conducted. Of these, an estimated 10,000 of them are women.
For female veterans, homelessness is an especially dire predicament. They are more likely to be divorced and single parents, sharing this extreme hardship with the most vulnerable in our society — young children.
There is no place for our Heroes or their families on the streets using cardboard for a bed, taking shelter under scaffolding, now wearing rags in place of the uniform they once wore with pride. As a nation and individuals we have a responsibility to protect those who once protected us. Your donations combined with our work are making the difference preventing our veterans and their families from spiraling into the abyss. Thank you for being part of this joint effort!
Dear Friends and Donors we want to share with you an amazing success story. We thank you for your donations and support. Your donations are invaluable to the success of our clients and our program.
James, a chronically homeless Army veteran, was referred to Texas Center Point’s HVRP by the VA Homeless Veterans Program. James was residing in local temporary housing which required residents to obtain employment. Texas Center Point provided James with job preparation assistance and referred him to a short term paid employment opportunity through a Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services program. When his temporary housing fees were increased James had to move to a shelter. Texas Center Point successfully advocated for James to be placed in a VA supported transitional housing program while assisting him with long term job placement. He met regularly with Center Point staff and never faltered in pursuing referrals for employment. After two months, staff connected James with Enterprise Rent- A- Car, a Texas Center Point preferred employer, which had a job opening - and he landed it! James happily continues to work for Enterprise and with the assistance of Texas Center Point is in the process of receiving his HUD-VASH permanent housing voucher. His future looks much brighter.
In the words of James, “Texas Center Point is very helpful. They have shown me how to work with my personal e-mail; provide me bus pass; assisted me in finding employment and obtaining job at the Enterprise Rent-A –Car as a car server. They have helped me through some difficult and depressing times. If it wasn’t for y’all, I don’t know what I would be doing; probably I’d be on the streets- homeless again.”
Now you can also support our project by donating via phone: Text GIVE 17101 to 80088 to donate $10 to A Heroes Helping Hand. Message and data rates may apply. Only works for US mobile phones.
To learn more about Center Point and our Programs Visit our website or Follow us on Facebook
Thank you for all your support, we are doing great in our GlobalGiving challenge and we are looking forward to continue making a difference in the lives of our heroes with your support!
We want to share with you some amazing success stories!
Texas Center Point Veterans’ Success Stories
Cheryl first came to Texas Center Point in April of 2013 seeking assistance with employment and housing. Cheryl is a single Caucasian 55 year old disabled female Air Force Veteran with a strong background in office administration, but she had been both homeless and unemployed for the past three years. Not unlike the majority of the Austin veteran homeless population, Cheryl was unaware of any support system that she could fall back on, and she was slowly sinking into a depression. Texas Center Point HVRP staff immediately referred her to the VA to seek counseling from a VA psychologist, and also to seek housing assistance from the VA’s VASH program. Staff also referred her to a local non-profit, Caritas that also assists the homeless with housing. Cheryl met with HVRP staff on a weekly basis for life skills training, mock interviewing, to receive Texas Center Point issued gas card to conduct job search, to utilize our computer lab for job searching, and to keep updated with job opportunities. In late August Texas Center Point’s Program Coordinator connected Cheryl to the hiring manager for the Texas Coalition for People with Disabilities and arranged an interview for her. By mid- September Cheryl had secured employment with the Texas Coalition for People with Disabilities making $12.50 per hr, and by the end of September she had also secured an apartment. Texas Center Point staff will continue to follow up on Cheryl, and we are confident that she will continue to work and live to the best of her abilities.
Keiron is an African American male Army veteran with a wife and two children. Mr. Greenwood enrolled in Texas Center Point’s program seeking job search assistance and rental assistance, as he had just received an eviction notice from his landlord, and was desperately reaching for a lifeline. Texas Center Point’s HVRP staff contacted the Foundation for the Homeless (local non-profit) and set up a meeting between Mr. Greenwood and one of their Case Managers. Within days, Mr. Greenwood received rental assistance from the Foundation for the Homeless and was afforded another month at his apartment. Although Mr. Greenwood wasn’t unemployed, the part time job that he had been working at wasn’t paying him enough money to meet his rent or support his family. Mr. Greenwood made it a point to come to our office at least once a week for life skills training, job coaching/job search training and transportation assistance. Texas Center Point’s Program Coordinator set up an interview for Mr. Greenwood with one of FedEx’s hiring managers and the interview went well. Two days after the initial interview Mr. Greenwood had secured a full time position as a driver for FedEx making $14.00 per hour, but since he had just secured this new position and had not yet received a paycheck he was facing eviction again. This time, Texas Center Point stepped in and provided Mr. Greenwood with rental assistance, and his landlord forgave the remaining debt. Texas Center Point staff will continue to follow up on Mr. Greenwood and we are confident that he will continue to work with FedEx and take care of himself and his family.
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