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. 

The Building Blocks of Faith

BCFS Health and Human Services, together with a team of compassionate and handy neighbors in Kerrville, Texas, helps a seventy-seven year old single great-grandmother with sole custody of her three young great-grandchildren expand her home to meet CPS licensing standards.

By:  Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
To say Wanna Runyan has a full house is an understatement. The seventy-seven year old single great-grandmother has sole custody of her three young great-grandchildren: six year old twins, Payton and Paige, and their five year old sister, Kodi. Runyan, who also cares for an elderly family member, could no doubt make a happy home for the girls, but she needed another bedroom in her small Kerrville home to comply with Child Protective Services licensing standards.
Photo: Woman and girls
Runyan and her great-granddaughters loved the butterflies, pink paint and other girlie accents that made their new room feel like home.

How would she ever get a room addition? “It would have to be a miracle,” Runyan said.

Neighbors and friends heard about Runyan’s dilemma. One such acquaintance, a volunteer from Christian Assistance Ministry, contacted Partners in Ministry and the ball started rolling.
“It is indescribable how it all came together,” said Jeff Anderson, Executive Director of Partners in Ministry. Anderson began working with a neighbor, Bob Meader, who drew up plans for the project. TJ Moore Lumber Yard, Home Depot and MG Builders all donated supplies or gave discounts to make the room addition come together.
BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Kerrville Transition Center (KTC) was asked to assist with labor. YouthBuild, a program of KTC, helps young adults who dropped out of high school further their education goals while also learning the construction trade. YouthBuild construction manager, Keith Schoonmaker, said his youth put in more than 120 hours of sweat and hard work, learning to give back to their community.
One BCFS HHS YouthBuild student, Eddy, shared his excitement about the project. “To go from nothing to being a room was amazing,” he said. “I loved the experience and learned a lot.”
“When they started building, I cried,” smiled Runyan. “I could not believe it was happening to me. It was like a dream.”
“When you do not have much money, something like this is like winning the lottery,” she continued.
Runyan’s three great-grandchildren became very fond of BCFS HHS’ YouthBuild youth and staff, looking forward each day to their arrival on the construction site. Schoonmaker and his assistant, Russell Wells, even made the three young kids wear safety goggles and a hard hat when they came out to “help.”
Last month, more than thirty-six friends, staff and volunteers from BCFS HHS, Partners in Ministry and Christian Assistance Ministry gathered for the ribbon cutting and the celebration.
When the doors opened to the pink bedroom, six year old Paige was asked, “Who built your new room?”
“Jesus built this room,” she answered.

AmeriCares Partners with BCFS Health and Human Services to Pre-Position Relief Supplies for Texans with Disabilities

Supplies are on-hand for the height of hurricane season

AmeriCares and BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) have pre-positioned equipment and relief supplies for Texans with disabilities displaced by disasters. The equipment can be readily deployed to support resource requests for up to five Texas Disaster District regions. The pre-positioned supplies include nearly $50,000 worth of equipment including wheelchairs, canes, cots, shower chairs and other safety equipment BCFS EMD can rapidly deploy at the request of local and state agencies. The supplies will be stored in San Antonio and distributed to regions across the state after hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other emergencies.

AmeriCares, the global health and disaster relief organization, selected Texas for the preparedness program because it is one of the most disaster-prone states. BCFS EMD provides critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments, as well as private businesses and institutions, before, during and after disasters. In Texas, BCFS EMD is a top partner for operating and supplying shelters for residents displaced by storms and other emergencies.

“AmeriCares is dedicated to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable disaster survivors,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “By pre-positioning equipment and supplies with our partner BCFS, we are ensuring emergency shelters across Texas will have the medical equipment and supplies elderly and disabled survivors most frequently need.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has designated September National Disaster Preparedness Month to encourage Americans to prepare for all type of emergencies, from natural disasters and major storms to terrorist attacks.

“Pre-staging emergency assets and having partnerships in place prior to an incident are best practices that ensure jurisdictions have the tools necessary to save lives when disaster strikes,” said Kari Tatro, BCFS Executive Vice President of Emergency Management. “With help from AmeriCares, we are creating a national model for preparedness that can – and should – be replicated in states and regions across the country.”

BCFS EMD is part of a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations operated by BCFS. BCFS EMD partners with FEMA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and various states and municipalities across the nation. The organization is a nationally recognized leader in serving vulnerable populations during disasters, and developed the guidance document and curriculum for FEMA’s national Guidance for the Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters.

AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. AmeriCares Emergency Response program helps communities and health care facilities worldwide prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. The organization delivers medicines and relief supplies, awards funding to local organizations assisting the recovery and helps health care providers prepare for future emergencies. AmeriCares emergency response experts responded to the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, and most recently, Hurricane Sandy in the northeast.

AmeriCares and BCFS EMD first partnered in 2011 when AmeriCares awarded the agency a grant to develop protocols and procedures for medical shelters, build capacity for alternate care sites, and develop and deliver disaster medical training courses.


About AmeriCares

AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization that delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the world and across the United States. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $11 billion in humanitarian aid to 164 countries. For more information, visit americares.org

About BCFS EMD

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) provides all hazards preparedness consultation, incident management and full-scale emergency response support to local, state and federal agencies throughout the U.S. BCFS began its work in emergency management during the 1993 Branch Davidian incident in Waco, Texas, providing emergency sheltering for the children caught in the crossfire. Its Incident Management Team members have responded to every major critical incident in the U.S. in the past 12 years, including 9/11, the H1N1 flu pandemic, and countless hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods, hazardous material spills and earthquakes. For more information, visit www.BCFSEMD.org. Or for emergency response services 24-hours a day, call 1 (800) 337-0373.

BCFS Health and Human Services Awarded Grant to Strengthen Families throughout Texas

BCFS Health and Human Services is launching a new dynamic, community-based parenting program aimed at reconnecting, strengthening and empowering families to create positive environments for their children.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services awarded BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS) a five-year contract to lead a dynamic, community-based parenting program aimed at reconnecting, strengthening and empowering families to create positive environments for their children. The program, called Texas Families: Together and Safe (TFTS), will serve more than 2,100 families annually in Bexar, Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces and Kerr counties.

“Being a responsible parent involves making decisions in the best interest of your child. It also means learning from mistakes and making better choices in the future to ensure children feel safe and loved, no matter what,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS HHS executive director of the Community Services Division. “Strengthening communication and learning more about the perspectives of all members of a household are proven ways to mitigate abuse and build an unbreakable bond within a family.”

Families with children ages 3 to17, who do not have an open CPS case or a previously substantiated case of abuse or neglect, are eligible to participate in the program. TFTS’ lessons and tools are beneficial to any parent interested in learning how to bond with their children, while still guiding, supervising and disciplining them when necessary. Classes are especially suited for families with added stressors, like overworked parents, single parents, divorced couples, and foster parents – or anyone interested in learning how to create a healthier home for their child. Parents who participate in the ten-week course will receive wraparound support services, including referrals to other community providers and assistance meeting their basic needs.

The TFTS curriculum focuses on how to best:

  • Reduce conflict and improve family communication
  • Improve behavior problems in children
  • Deal with complicated, strong emotions
  • Validate a parent’s strengths
  • Deal with complex issues like aggression, alcohol and violence

Families interested in participating may visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net/TFTS to learn more.