BCFS Receives Grant from Community Foundation of Abilene

The Community Foundation of Abilene awarded $15,000 to BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Abilene Transition Center and Our House to support services provided to local youth at risk of experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, poverty or various other challenges.

ABILENE – The Community Foundation of Abilene awarded $15,000 to BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Abilene Transition Center and Our House to support services provided to local youth at risk of experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, poverty or various other challenges.

BCFS HHS’ Abilene Transition Center is a one-stop-shop for youth in or aging out of foster care, those in the juvenile justice system, and others in need of a helping hand to make the transition into adulthood. The center provides easy and efficient access to case management, counseling, education and employment assistance, and lifeskills training.

“When you consider the overwhelming likelihood of foster youth and those in the juvenile justice system becoming homeless, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and involved in crime, the services we offer at the Abilene Transition Center and Our House are lifesavers,” said Terri Hipps, Executive Director of BCFS’ Community Services Division. “We are grateful for the partnership and investment of the Community Foundation of Abilene in the lives of local youth. As a foundation funded by local donors, this grant sends a strong message to our youth that our community is rooting for their success.”

Foster youth are especially vulnerable to homelessness. In fact, within 18 months of aging out of the state foster care system, 50 percent of youth struggle to put a roof over their heads. BCFS HHS’ Our House provides a safe haven for males between the ages of 18-23 and provides a pipeline into the Abilene Transition Center so youth can receive wrap-around services

“It is critical that these impressionable young men have a safe place just for them. Because of the struggles they’ve faced in foster care or as a result of other traumas, they are extraordinarily vulnerable to becoming victimized and influenced by older individuals who are also coping with the issues surrounding homelessness,” said Hipps.

The Community Foundation of Abilene is a permanent collection of charitable funds supported by the general public and serving the greater Abilene region. The Foundation serves the entire community by raising, managing and distributing funds for charitable purposes. In many cases, contributions are pooled and invested, so that the earnings provide a permanent source of grant monies for general or specific purposes. For more information about the Community Foundation of Abilene, visit www.cfabilene.org.

For more information about BCFS HHS’ Our House project, please visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net/OurHouse.

BCFS Names Susan Rios as Controller

BCFS named Susan Rios, CPA to serve as its controller. In this role, Rios will direct the agency’s worldwide financial operations, which includes overseeing multi-state and foreign reporting requirements, financial planning and budgeting, and internal controls.

Photo: Susan RiosSAN ANTONIO – Global health and human service non-profit system, BCFS, named Susan Rios, CPA to serve as its controller. In this role, Rios will direct the agency’s worldwide financial operations, which includes overseeing multi-state and foreign reporting requirements, financial planning and  budgeting, and internal controls.

“Susan has the experience and expertise needed for managing BCFS’ complex financial functions, and I am confident in her ability to maintain the integrity with which our agency’s financial operations are run,” said Claudia Oliveira, CPA, BCFS Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “We are pleased to have her as a member of our team.”

Most recently, Rios served as controller of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Previously, she served as economic development manager and assistant controller for the City of San Antonio. She has extensive experience in grant and contract administration, which plays a large part in BCFS’ funding streams, and the reporting of financial and budgetary information to federal agencies and corporate entities. Rios earned her bachelor’s of Business Administration from St. Mary’s University.

Congressman Cuellar Cuts Ribbon on New Mobile Medical Unit 

LAREDO – Congressman Henry Cuellar was joined today by state and local elected officials, healthcare leaders and first responders for a ceremony dedicating a new, state-of-the-art emergency response and medical asset that will deliver care to individuals along the border and in areas impacted by disaster. The mobile medical unit was funded by the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust and BCFS Foundation. It is operated by BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS), a global organization that has provided medical care and case management to individuals and families in Webb County for more than a decade.
“Communities along the border face a unique set of challenges in providing healthcare to their citizens, especially for those that live in colonias,” said Congressman Cuellar.  “The Healthy Start program not only helps people who specifically request assistance, but more importantly its services go into areas where residents are often isolated geographically. This new mobile unit will continue to break down barriers by bringing care directly to communities along the border that have some of the highest rates of poverty and lack of insurance. I would like to thank everyone that has played a role in this milestone of healthcare and emergency preparedness for our citizens of Webb County.”
The unit, which will serve on a daily basis as part of BCFS HHS’ federal Healthy Start program, is outfitted with an exam room, sophisticated monitoring technology such as a non-fetal stress test monitor and ultrasound, and other medical tools needed to fulfill its mission of delivering prenatal and postpartum care to women living in the colonias. It is also equipped with neonatal capabilities should a hospital need to evacuate during an emergency, such as what happened during Hurricane Sandy. In addition, the vehicle can serve as a rehab resource for fire fighters and other first responders, equipped with liquid cooling vests, wireless vital signs monitors, oxygen units and other tools to assist responders during an emergency.
“Emergencies happen on micro and macro levels, depending on the vantage point of those who are impacted,” said Kevin C. Dinnin, BCFS President & CEO. “From an expectant mother who wants nothing more than her child to be born healthy but cannot access proper medical care, to fire fighters and first responders who put their own lives in danger to help those in peril, having a multifaceted tool in the toolbox like this mobile medical unit is going to increase the overall safety and wellbeing of many throughout Laredo and beyond. BCFS is proud to be part of that effort.”
Since 2001, BCFS HHS has led the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy Start program with the aim of reducing infant mortality, preventing child abuse, and assisting families in meeting basic health needs. Since transportation is not readily available for a large number of residents in the colonias, BCFS HHS’ mobile medical unit breaks down barriers to health by bringing care directly to families. The unit is stationed at various community health centers and other designated sites throughout the week and is staffed by nurses from BCFS HHS and its partner, Doctors Hospital of Laredo. In addition, BCFS HHS also provides case management services to address families’ medical, social, financial, educational, legal, housing, parenting and employment needs.
Most mothers in the program would never receive prenatal care if it were not for BCFS HHS, and nearly all went without care for previous children. Thanks to BCFS HHS’ Healthy Start, more women in Webb County are receiving prenatal care than ever before.
BCFS HHS’ Emergency Management Division is a non-profit partner of federal, state and local government and private industry, and has been tapped to respond to catastrophic disasters throughout Texas and around the world, including the H1N1 flu pandemic and countless hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods, hazardous material spills and earthquakes.

Dodge Jones Foundation Awards $200,000 to BCFS Health and Human Services’ Abilene Transition Center

The Dodge Jones Foundation awarded $200,000 to BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Abilene Transition Center to expand the facility’s physical footprint and, therefore, it’s capacity to serve more youth and young adults in need throughout the Big Country.
Since opening in 2010, the transition center has quadrupled the number of lives it touches annually. Currently, the center serves approximately 200 youth and families each month, offering support services that include case management; counseling; assistance with education, employment and housing; life skills training; college preparation; and transition planning. It is a “one-stop-shop” for youth in or aging out of foster care, those in the juvenile justice system, or others struggling with challenges such as homelessness, substance abuse, unplanned pregnancy,  and more.
“The growth we’ve experienced in such a short time is truly a testament to the need and effectiveness of the ‘one stop’ model of delivering care,” said Terri Hipps, executive director of BCFS’ Community Services Division.
“The Dodge Jones Foundation has been one of our greatest champions, supporters and partners since opening our doors three years ago,” she continued. “Our shared philosophy recognizes that the investment they are making today is not in BCFS HHS, but rather in the belief that every child in our community, regardless of their past, can be part of the fabric that makes Abilene a safe and prosperous place to call home.”
Collocating with community partners, such as the Texas Workforce Commission and local universities, allows the BCFS HHS center to offer comprehensive – and non-duplicated – services in an effective and cost-efficient manner. Expansion of the center will nearly double its size, making it possible to dedicate more space for partners, as well as bolster the center’s capacity to reach a larger number of youth and families. Construction is planned to begin in January and be completed by springtime.

King Named Executive Director of Breckenridge Village of Tyer (BVT)

Photo: Kevin King

Kevin King has been named executive director of Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT), a faith-based, assisted living community for adults with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities. King will assume his new role on January 1.

“Kevin is one of the most capable, mission-driven and compassionate administrators I’ve known,” said Asennet Segura, executive vice president of BVT’s parent company, BCFS. “His deep faith, unwavering leadership and focus on the future make him a great fit for our BVT ministry.”

For the last eight years, King has overseen residential operations for multiple campuses run by BCFS Health and Human Services (also within the BCFS system). Presently, he is the associate executive director for two campuses in San Antonio, which care for more than 2,500 children and youth each year. He has experience starting up and managing multimillion dollar projects, with personnel oversight of more than 300 employees.

King holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Religious Education, and is licensed by the State of Texas as a Child Care Administrator. He is an active member of the South Texas Anti-Trafficking Coalition, the BCFS Health and Human Services Incident Management Team, and is known at the state and federal level for his professional demeanor, successful programming history and “get it done” attitude.

Located on a tranquil 70-acre campus just west of Tyler, BVT offers residential and day enrichment programs to meet the needs of adults with disabilities. The organization – which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year – seeks to empower each resident as he or she develops spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially in a safe, loving and closely supervised environment.

For more information about BVT, please visit www.BreckenridgeVillage.com.

 

Café by Day, Youth Center by Night (and on Weekends too!)

A new partnership between Guadalupe Street Coffee and Cruzan’s, a family-owned restaurant known for its artistic and healthy approach to traditional comfort foods, blends healthy eating with healthy living, all in a hip, safe haven for youth located on San Antonio’s West Side.

Guadalupe Street Coffee and Cruzan’s Partner to Promote Health Living and Opportunity on San Antonio’s West Side

For more than five years, Guadalupe Street Coffee – sponsored by BCFS Health and Human Services – has been a safe and positive after-school haven for students on San Antonio’s West Side. With a focus on increasing school retention and enhancing teens’ likelihood of graduation, the coffee shop became a hot spot for club meetings, study groups, art shows and more. However, in recent years, Guadalupe Street Coffee found its health and human service mission competing with the restaurant responsibilities inherit in operating in a full-service café
That’s why, this month, the coffee shop unveiled a new partnership with Cruzan’s, a family-owned restaurant known for its artistic and healthy approach to traditional comfort foods. Now known as Guadalupe Street Coffee y Cruzan’s, the latter will operate as a restaurant from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays, then make way for the former to provide youth and community-focused programs, such as mentoring, GED classes, resume-building workshops and more. Various programs are offered on weekdays as well as weekends by Guadalupe Street Coffee, BCFS Health and Human Services, and other community partners.
“Our shared focus on promoting healthy living – whether that’s through eating well or  getting help to pursue higher education – makes this a complimentary and comprehensive partnership that can really benefit our community,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President – International and Community Operations.
Shortly after opening his catering and personal chef business, Chef Keith Cruzan relocated to the heart of the cultural arts district with a mission to bring more healthy eating options to West Side San Antonians.  He began offering cooking classes to the public, as well as local nonprofits, in order to educate local residents on proper nutrition. “Hopefully, this restaurant will be a way for me to give back to a community that has supported my family and my business from the very beginning,” said Cruzan.
Cruzan’s offers a variety of menu options ranging from gourmet sandwiches to classics, plus unique dishes like the Paleo Chicken and Waffle Salad.  A variety of freshly-made meals are also available for pick up along with a small retail area for take-home healthy options.  Guadalupe Street Coffee y Cruzan’s also boasts a full coffee bar featuring organic fair trade coffees and from scratch flavor bases.
Guadalupe Street Coffee y Cruzan’s is located at 1320 Guadalupe Street. For more information about this partnership, as well as menu options, daily specials and hours of operation, please visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net/GuadalupeStreetCoffeeyCruzans.

BCFS Men’s Breakfast is a “Grand Slam!”

Big news was made during the program as President & CEO of BCFS HHS’ parent organization, Kevin C. Dinnin, announced the organization would match dollar-for-dollar – up to $500,000 – all gifts given to complete the capital campaign.

Organization announces $500,000 matching grant to complete the Kerrville Transition Center capital campaign

More than 180 men – and many women too – came together to support the development of Kerrville’s new youth transition center, operated by BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS). The baseball-themed breakfast featured former pro-outfielder and author of Headed Home: A MLB All-Star’s Search for Truth, Glenn Wilson.
Big news was made during the program as President & CEO of BCFS HHS’ parent organization, Kevin C. Dinnin, announced the organization would match dollar-for-dollar – up to $500,000 – all gifts given to complete the capital campaign.
“BCFS is investing in this program because, like many other philanthropic foundations throughout this community, we believe not only in its mission, but in its effectiveness to make Kerrville a safer and more prosperous place to call home,” said Dinnin.
BCFS HHS established the Kerrville Transition Center in 2007 as a “one stop shop” where youth in foster care or those who face the potential of homelessness could receive counseling, case management, access to medical care, emergency housing assistance, life skills training, literacy training, educational support, and connections to employment and educational opportunities. Over the years, demand for services at the center exploded beyond original projections. The transition center and its partners now serve more than 4,000 youth, young adults and families annually.
Fueled by a $500,000 challenge grant from the Cailloux Foundation, BCFS HHS has secured more than $1.7 million to build the $2.2 million facility. The organization intends to begin construction of the new facility in early 2014. The new center will be built on a site provided by the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, and will also house Partners in Ministry-Vision Youth, Families & Literacy, Inc. and Art 2 Heart.
“Supporting the Kerrville Transition Center has at least five-times the impact thanks to all the partners that will use this location to serve those in need,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS HHS Executive Director – Community Services Division. “By leveraging and maximizing our shared talents and resources, our new center will be able to serve more deserving youth and families through even more effective means.”

Kids ‘n Boots Mission Teams Prepare to Deploy

Photo: Kids n boots stalking

For over a decade, the international division of BCFS Health and Human Services, Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI), has led winter boot missions to Eastern Europe before Christmas. Each year, CERI volunteers personally fit children who are orphaned and in need with brand new socks and winter boots. Historically, CERI alternated missions between Moldova and Transnistria. This year, CERI is excited to announce the expansion of its winter boot missions to Ukraine and Romania!

In cooperation with New Hope International in Ukraine and Project Ruth in Romania, CERI volunteers will outfit over 3,600 children with brand new warm, winter boots. Mission teams will travel to 27 orphanages in Ukraine around the city of L’viv and also distribute boots to severely impoverished Roma (Gypsy) communities of Bucharest, Romania.

Visit www.CERIkids.org to learn more about our international division.

Project Fundraising Goal:     $90,000
Cost of Boots:     Just $25 per pair!

DONATE today to support the 2013 Kids ‘N Boots mission!

BVT Men’s Benefit Raises $50,000 for Scholarship Program

Fun, Fellowship and Classic Cars Too – Annual men’s benefit raises $50,000 for scholarship program that allows many residents to call the Village their home

Photo: John Bermudez and family

John Bermudez shared his family’s personal testimony about watching their loved one, his daughter Chloe, live a filling and purposeful life with Down Syndrome.

More than 180 sons and brothers, fathers and grandfathers recently came together for the 5th Annual Robert L. Breckenridge Men’s Breakfast at BCFS’ assisted living community in Tyler, Breckenridge Village. The event was full of fun and fellowship, to date raising more than $50,000 in scholarship assistance for the residents of BVT.

The dewy morning was the perfect setting for an antique and classic car show as local do-wop band, “The C,” filled the air with oldies from the 50’s & 60’s. Casey Rivers, from the hit TV show Nashville Star, opened the formal program singing “God Bless America” as BVT resident, Ryan, presented the American flag.

John Bermudez, Management Consultant with Chick-fil-A based in Atlanta, Georgia, served as the keynote speaker. Bermudez challenged the men in attendance to bridge the gap for individuals with intellectual disabilities in their community. His testimony came straight from the heart of a parent whose child struggles with a disability.

John’s daughter, Chloe, has Down Syndrome. Together with her sister, Phoebe, the two girls played a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” on their violins. Phoebe shared the daily challenges and obstacles she sees Chloe face, reiterating her father’s message of using the strengths and gifts that each person has to bridge the gap for those with developmental disabilities.

Robert and Jean Breckenridge dreamt of creating a loving, faith-based home where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities could live when their families could no longer care for them. Their dream became a reality 15 years ago thanks to global health and human service system, BCFS.

BVT’s scholarship program plays a vital role in providing residential care for “God’s Forever Children.” Thanks to the generosity of many, the Village is able to empower each resident and day program participant as he or she develops spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in a safe, loving, and closely supervised environment.

Showcasing part of the music enrichment activities residents enjoy, the Men’s Breakfast concluded with a beautiful performance of “You Raise Me Up” by BVT resident, Brien W. He was joined by Brynne, also a BVT resident, who gracefully signed the song.

For more information about this special ministry for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, please visit www.BreckenridgeVillage.com.


Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT) is part of BCFS’ global system of health and human service non-profit organizations. BVT is a faith-based community for adults with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities. Located on a tranquil 70-acre campus just west of Tyler, Texas, our community offers exceptional residential and day enrichment programs to meet the needs of the persons entrusted to our care. We are dedicated to serving a group of amazing people—God’s Forever Children—in a warm, safe, family-like setting that seeks to empower each resident as he or she develops spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in a safe, loving, and closely supervised environment.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

BCFS Health and Human Services to Hold Candlelight Vigil to Honor Those Affected by Violence 

According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, more than 100 women are killed each year as a result of domestic violence. Abuse at the hands of a boyfriend, spouse or other intimate partner has touched the lives of more than 1-in-3 women in the state. Recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month not only remembers victims – and survivors – but also increases understanding of how to prevent and protect against domestic violence.
“It is commonplace to hear things like, ‘it’s not domestic violence because I’ve never been hit’ or ‘it’s not really domestic violence because he only does it when he’s mad,’” said Raquel Frausto, senior program director for BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS), Del Rio’s service provider for individuals affected by domestic violence.
“Rather than report abusive actions, people may shy away from the term ‘domestic violence,’ finding it too harsh of a description of what is occurring,” Frausto continued. “Whatever the reason for the confusion, everyone needs to understand the basics of domestic violence and how to respond when it occurs.”
BCFS HHS operates Del Rio’s domestic violence program, offering direct services to individuals in Val Verde and surrounding counties that include access to emergency care, safety planning, and coordination of legal assistance in civil and criminal cases.
On Thursday, October 17, BCFS HHS will hold a candlelight vigil in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The event, called Breaking the Silence: Speak Up and Be Heard, will be held at the Casa de la Cultura from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in a relationship used to gain or maintain “power and control” over an intimate partner. Such abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological. It can include action or threats of action to influence another person, such as sexual assault, stalking or any behavior that frightens, intimidates, terrorizes, manipulates, humiliates, blames or injures someone else. Examples include withholding money from a partner, threatening to kill pets or children, threatening to kill oneself in the event of a breakup or divorce, or constantly belittling or criticizing an intimate partner.
Domestic violence is not limited to gender, class, race, religion, economic status, age or sexual orientation. Whether a couple is married, living together, divorced or dating, any pattern of behavior used to maintain power and control over a partner is considered to be domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-779-SAFE (7233) or call BCFS HHS at 830-768-2755. All help is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.