BCFS hosts 3rd annual Men’s Breakfast in Kerrville

On Thursday, November 12, BCFS Health and Human Services brought Kerrville men (and women) together at the third annual Men’s Breakfast, featuring a classic car show, pro-football player, live music and steak and eggs – all to benefit Hill Country youth and families in need.
Tyrone Smith, former NFL defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers and former Baylor University Cornerback and Team Captain, led the keynote address entitled Know Your Purpose. The Tivy High School varsity football team was among the 220 guests. The George Eychner Quintet performed while guests perused a classic car show at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. A hearty steak and eggs feast was on the menu as well, catered by Rails.
Several youth from foster care and the juvenile justice system who are in BCFS Health and Human Services’ programs attended the breakfast to personally thank donors and sponsors for their support.
The breakfast raised more than $30,000 to benefit Kerrville youth and families served by BCFS Health and Human Services. Major sponsors for the breakfast included Trade Mark-Carrier, JM Lowe, Kerrville Public Utility Board, Family Practice Associates and Camp Mystic.
“When we provide young men and women with educational and economic opportunity, and serve as a stabilizing force in their tumultuous lives, it’s good for our entire community,” said Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, development director for BCFS Health and Human Services. “The men and women who enjoyed breakfast with us are part of that stabilizing force for the next generation in the Hill Country.”
BCFS Health and Human Services helps youth from the foster care and juvenile justice systems; families with young children and teens; and young adults struggling with homelessness, poverty, substance abuse and unemployment. The organization provides counseling, education and housing assistance, mentorships, case management, parent support groups, child abuse prevention programs, and life skills trainings.
“We are so proud to be part of a town that sees value and potential in each and every life. It’s wonderful to see time-and-time again how invested our community members are in making sure we reach out our hands to help everyone who wants to work hard to reach their dreams – regardless of the challenge,” said Brenda Thompson, BCFS Health and Human Services’ local director.
For more information about BCFS’ work in the Hill Country, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville or call (830) 896-0993.

Celeste Garcia Named Executive Director – Community Services Division

Photo: Celeste Garcia

BCFS Health and Human Services has named Celeste Garcia as Executive Director of its Community Services Division. In this role, Garcia will oversee BCFS’ community-based operations, which offer services in every Texas county ranging from case management and counseling, to life skills trainings, parenting classes, college and vocational tuition vouchers for youth in foster care, shelter for young adults struggling with homelessness, and more. Garcia will assume this role on November 1.

Garcia currently serves as Associate Executive Director of BCFS’ Residential Services Division where she oversees foster care, adoption, post release and home study programs, with annual budgets totaling $16.5 million. Garcia also serves as a key liaison between BCFS and its government partners at the federal, state and local level, ensuring compliance, quality assurance, and positive program outcomes for the children, youth and families served.

Under Garcia’s leadership, BCFS’ regional offices across the country continually receive high rankings from federal partners and third party advocacy groups that laud the organization for consistently delivering critical services for children and families in need with exceptional speed, scalability, and quality.

“Celeste is a dynamic leader who invigorates her team and delivers top notch programming,” said Asennet Segura, BCFS Chief Operating Officer. “I know she will not only strengthen our current programs, but also be key in leveraging BCFS locations in other states across the nation to expand our agency’s reach to more children and families in need.”

When she served as National Program Director of BCFS’ Post Release and Home Study Services, Garcia spearheaded the opening of regional offices strategically located around the nation to serve children and families reunited after a separation that sometimes spanned years. Garcia has worked closely with the U.S. departments of Justice, Homeland Security and key international diplomats to ensure BCFS’ operations filled gaps for unmet needs, and exceeded contract requirements.

“Throughout her tenure at BCFS, Celeste has maintained a laser focus on a singular, critical mission: ensuring the best quality placements and environments for children and youth in our care,” said Kevin Dinnin, BCFS President.

Garcia has 14 years of experience advocating for children and families. She earned her Masters of Science in Social Administration at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Community Services Division operates centers across Texas that serve youth from the foster care system, teens struggling with homelessness, poverty or a history of abuse, youth in the juvenile justice system, and families. At BCFS centers, youth receive case management, counseling, and assistance with education, employment and housing. Parent support groups and parenting education programs educate families on how to improve communication, resolve conflict, and create a stable, safe home environment for their families.

BCFS in Kerrville Receives $170,000 Grant from Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation

Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation Donates $170,000 to Furnish New BCFS’ Texas Hill Country Resource Center and Apartments

BCFS Health and Human Services has received a $170,000 grant from the Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation to help furnish its Texas Hill Country Resource Center and youth apartments.
The new BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center, set to open later this year, will be the cornerstone of Kerrville’s non-profit block, offering a variety of programming and services through several area non-profits that will be headquartered in the 20,000-square-foot structure.
BCFS’ transitional living apartments provide housing to youth aging out of foster care, and other young adults struggling with homelessness. Updates to the apartment complex began earlier this year, including kitchen and bathroom upgrades. In 2008, the Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation donated $100,000 to help turn the original complex into apartments for BCFS youth.
“The trustees of the Perry & Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation are proud to play a part in the development of the BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center and the apartments,” said Laurie Milton, Executive Director for the foundation. “The primary focus for Mr. & Mrs. Stevens was helping at-risk youth. The apartments will provide stable housing for youth who are emancipated from foster care.  The numerous nonprofits that will be located in the Resource Center will provide an environment of services for struggling families in the community. We are excited to participate in this new venture in our community.”
In addition to housing the many BCFS Health and Human Services programs, Art2Heart, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Families & Literacy, Inc., Hill Country Ministries and New Hope Counseling have signed on as tenants in the new building. Space is still available at the center for other community-based non-profit agencies.
“We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation,” said Brenda Thompson, BCFS director in Kerrville. “With this grant, we are one big step closer to opening our doors later this year and welcoming youth and families in need, plus all our community partners, into a top-notch facility our whole community can be proud of.”
“The BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center not only offers clients the convenience of finding an array of services in one place, but the close proximity of the agencies working in the new center will also help them work more efficiently,” says BCFS Development Director Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie. “Collocating under one roof will encourage communication; ensure non-duplication of services; and leverage the talents and resources of each non-profit to effectively address the needs of each child and family.”
The transitional living apartment complex is a drug- and alcohol-free facility consisting of eight units, with one unit reserved for a resident advisor. Tenants must be transitioning out of the foster care system or be receiving case management from BCFS in order to be eligible for residency. BCFS works with tenants to help them gain independence by providing job placement services, counseling, and help getting into college or trade school.

New Texas Hill Country Resource Center Rounding Into Comprehensive Community Center

Photo: Building under construction
March 2015
Photo: Unpainted finished building
May 2015

There’s no missing the almost 20,000-square-foot, two-story building taking shape on the non-profit block of 1100 Main Street. In the last two months, the site has gone from lumber framing to a bonafide building structure. BCFS Health and Human Services’ new Texas Hill Country Resource Center, which is being built by Kerrville contractor JM Lowe, is on schedule to open its doors this Fall, and will house fellow Hill Country non-profit organizations such as: Art2Heart; Families & Literacy, Inc.; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Hill Country Ministries and New Hope Counseling.

In the new center, Hill Country residents will have “one stop” access to:
  • counseling
  • case management
  • emergency housing assistance for young adults
  • life skills training
  • literacy training
  • educational support
  • connections to employment and educational opportunities
  • mentoring
  • parenting classes
  • arts and drama for children, and
  • Christian encouragement through Bible study and prayer
The shared-space concept instills greater access and accountability for the children, youth and families helped by the center, while also ensuring non-duplication of services and leveraging of talents and resources. All nonprofits will share training rooms, state-of-the-art communications technology, a conference room, computer lab and other common areas. Space is still available for other non-profit agencies. Organizations interested in leasing opportunities at the center should contact Sue Tiemann with Commercial Realty Services: (830) 792-5775.
“With the combined power of BCFS and our partners, this center is going to be the most robust site for care and compassion for children, young adults and families throughout the Hill Country,” says Brenda Thompson, BCFS’ local director.
Fundraising is ongoing to furnish the facility. Naming rights are available for spaces throughout the center, beginning at $1,200.
“Sponsoring one of the spaces in our center is not just a great way to help a child or family in need today, but also an incredible opportunity to permanently honor or memorialize someone you love,” says Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, BCFS Development Officer.
To support the work at BCFS’ Texas Hill Country Resource Center or to learn more about working in the new facility, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (830) 928-9387.

Construction Underway for BCFS’ Texas Hill Country Resource Center

If you’re stopping by the 1100 block of Main Street anytime soon make sure you have on your hard hat. Construction is moving full speed ahead on Kerrville’s new center, known as the “BCFS Health and Human Services Texas Hill Country Resource Center.”

If you’re stopping by the 1100 block of Main Street anytime soon make sure you have on your hard hat. Construction is moving full speed ahead on Kerrville’s new center, known as the “BCFS Health and Human Services Texas Hill Country Resource Center.”
The building, which will open its doors in 2015, will serve more than 4,000 children and families annually and house several different non-profits. The nearly 20,000 square foot center will be the centerpiece of the non-profit block, constructed by Kerrville-based JM Lowe & Company.
“It’s exciting to see the center begin to take shape,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President – International and Community Operations, who is overseeing the project. “The ripple effect this facility will have once completed is profound, lifting up not only youth and families in need but the larger Hill Country community as well.”
BCFS’ new Texas Hill Country Resource Center will serve youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system; families that are struggling; and those facing other challenges, like homelessness, substance abuse and unemployment. The shared space model emphasizes accountability in the youth it serves, ensures non-duplication of existing services, and promotes efficiency through the leveraging of shared talents and resources. In the new center, teens, young adults and families will be able to 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 all under one roof.
The “one stop” service model that was first established by BCFS Health and Human Services in Kerrville in 2007 no longer exists due to program and partner growth, as well as a significant increase in demand for services. To reestablish the efficient and effective “one stop” model, The Cailloux Foundation set forth a $500,000 challenge grant to build a larger center. Several private foundations and individual philanthropists throughout the Hill Country contributed to the capital campaign, including BCFS – the parent company of BCFS Health and Human Services – which committed $1.3 million. The Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation also contributed $300,000 to complete the center, in addition to major gifts given by the Ruby and Perry Stevens Foundation and Hal and Charlie Peterson Foundation.
For more information about BCFS’ resource center services, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville or call (830) 896-0993.
To support the work of the resource center by donating, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (830) 928-9387, give securely online, or send checks to: 550 Earl Garrett, Suite 114, Kerrville, Texas 78028.

Lubbock Men’s “Steak n’ Eggs” Breakfast Raises $70,000 for Local Youth

The inaugural Men’s “Field of Dreams” Steak and Eggs Benefit Breakfast raised $70,000 toward much-needed services for local teens and young adults provided at BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center.

Local community and business leaders – including Representative John Frullo, County Judge Tom Head, Judge Kevin Hart, Judge Kara Darnell, and Juvenile Justice Chief William Carter – gathered for the Men’s “Field of Dreams” Steak and Eggs Benefit Breakfast, hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services. The event raised $70,000, which includes a dollar-for-dollar match by the organization’s parent agency, BCFS, a system of health and human services organizations with locations and programs from coast-to-coast and around the world. The funds raised will be put toward much-needed services for local teens and young adults provided at BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center.
Guest speaker Jimmy “The Rookie” Morris, whose life inspired the book and movie “The Rookie,” attended the breakfast to share inspirational words about not giving up on your dreams. Approximately 125 guests enjoyed a steak and eggs breakfast, live music and a viewing of classic cars at the Mckenzie-Merket Alumni Center. Title sponsor, Reagor-Dykes Auto, and  ASCO Equipment Company – who was also a sponsor – helped make the inaugural benefit a great success.
“BCFS is proud to come alongside several private foundations, businesses and individual philanthropists that have invested in the life-changing work happening at our transition center,” said BCFS CEO Kevin Dinnin, surprising the crowd by announcing a match of every dollar raised during the breakfast. “Without question, this center makes a profound impact in the lives of children and young adults who are struggling. In turn, we raise the tide for the community as a whole, making Lubbock and surrounding areas a safer and more prosperous place to call home.”
The BCFS Lubbock Transition Center is a safe-haven for local youth, many of whom are at-risk of homelessness, poverty or other challenges that could inhibit a successful transition into adulthood and independence. The center serves youth in foster care, those in the juvenile justice system, and other young adults who are struggling by providing case management, counseling, mentorships, assistance with education, employment and housing location.
“BCFS is proud to be part of a community that is so in tune with the needs of its youth,” said Kami Jackson, director of the BCFS center. “When we provide young men and women with educational and economic opportunity, and serve as a stabilizing force in their tumultuous lives, it’s good for the entire Lubbock community. The men that enjoyed breakfast with us are part of that stabilizing force for the next generation in Lubbock.”
Morris shared his story – brought to the big screen starring actor Dennis Quaid – recalling how he dreamed of playing major league baseball growing up, but injuries and life got in the way. Ten years after he walked away from the minor leagues, became a father and a high school baseball coach, he told his team if they won their local championship he would try out again for the big leagues. When he kept his word and tried out, he finally achieved his Big League, childhood dreams at the age of 35.
“Many of the youth we serve have suffered some kind of abuse or neglect in their past,” said Jackson. “So Jimmy’s advice to never give up really resonates with our youth. This event will go a long way towards helping us continue our work with young people who are struggling.”
For more information about BCFS Lubbock Transition Center services, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Lubbock or call (806) 792-0526.
To support the work of the transition center by donating, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (806) 792-0526, give securely online, or send checks to 125 Chicago Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79416.

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.”

Non-profit Campus Set to Expand

The symbiotic relationship on Kerrville’s non-profit campus saves youth from homelessness, substance abuse, unemployment, crime and unplanned pregnancies. Thanks to the Ruby Stevens Foundation, Hal Peterson Foundation, Sterling-Turner Foundation, Cailloux Foundation and other organizations and individuals in the community, more than $1 million has been secured to expand the campus.

By Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

In 2005, The Cailloux Foundation hosted a community meeting to find out what was going on with former foster youth in our community. Finding resources and accessing assistance is a difficult web to navigate, especially for young adults without parents or other strong support systems to help guide them. That’s when BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Terri Hipps – who lives in Kerrville – presented the idea of opening a transition center.

BCFS HHS helped establish Texas’ first youth transition center in San Antonio in 2000. In a single location, foster youth saw their case manager, received help with their FAFSA, engaged in life skills training, and more. If youth had to travel to different sites throughout the city to access these services, they would never get everything they needed. When providers are all located together, youth receive the comprehensive, coordinated – and non-duplicated – care they need to make the transition into adulthood.

The Kerrville community partners were interested in bringing this kind of “one stop” model to their town. To get started, the Cailloux Foundation provided grant money to the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country with the purpose of establishing a nonprofit campus for Kerrville. The Community Foundation in turn acquired two pieces of property two blocks east of the Kerr County Courthouse where Main and Broadway split. The property had a house (currently occupied by BCFS HHS’ Kerrville Transition Center), a cottage that is home to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), and a building now home to the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Kerr County (CWJC).

For six years now, the block at 1105 E. Main Street has served as a centralized location where non-profits work together to leverage their resources and better serve former foster youth and other clients. The symbiotic relationship among the agencies was effective in saving youth from homelessness, substance abuse, unemployment, crime and unplanned pregnancies. Each year, the Kerrville Transition Center helps thousands of teens and young adults. Yet, the growth of available services is now spilling out beyond the block and into buildings around town – negating the “one stop” ease that originally inspired the development.

Now, the Cailloux Foundation has again stepped up for foster youth. The organization has issued a $500,000 challenge grant to build a new “one stop” building. The transition center will not only house BCFS HHS, but also Art-2-Heart, Families & Literacy, and Partners In Ministry Vision Youth, and other human services organizations. CWJC and BBBS will also remain on the campus.

“Everyone at the Community Foundation is very excited about this next step in realizing the vision of the campus. The BCFS HHS Transition Center will certainly provide the impetus for fulfillment of our nonprofit campus dream,” said Paul Urban, Executive Director for the Community Foundation. “As a result of BCFS HHS’ efforts, it has given the foundation the opportunity to develop a master plan to attract other nonprofits too.”

Kristin Cook, Branch Coordinator for BBBS said, “I am very excited to see the nonprofit campus planning in its final stages because I strongly believe it will be a true asset to our community. It will enhance communication between these nonprofits which will ultimately benefit clients and the community. All of the resources someone could need will be at an arm’s length.”

Another campus partner stated, “CWJC can only see great benefits with this campus. Many people, regardless of their gender or severity of need, will be able to access the help, training, and aide they require to move forward in their lives. We look forward to having many non-profits easily accessible and working together for the good of the Kerrville community,” said Ann Buck, current CWJC Executive Director.

Thanks to the support of the Ruby Stevens Foundation, the Hal Peterson Foundation, the Sterling-Turner Foundation, the Cailloux Foundation and other organizations and individuals in the community, more than $1 million has been secured to build the new facility. The new 16,000 square foot Kerrville Transition Center will provide a robust place where compassion and help will be available for thousands in the Texas Hill Country.

“We support the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country and BCFS HHS in this capital project and urge others to support it as well,” said Sandy Cailloux Executive Director of the Cailloux Foundation. “Helping at-risk youth and young adults become more responsible and self-sufficient gives them a much better start in life and strengthens our entire community.”

For more information, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (830) 928-9387.

BCFS Health & Human Services celebrates the opening of Our House

BCFS Health and Human Services today celebrated the opening of its new “Our House” program. BCFS’ Our House is a transitional living home for homeless males between the ages of 18-23, located at 202 Vine Street. The vision for Our House was sparked years ago by the Christian Community Development Coalition (CCDC)….

ABILENE – BCFS Health and Human Services today celebrated the opening of its new “Our House” program. BCFS’ Our House is a transitional living home for homeless males between the ages of 18-23, located at 202 Vine Street.

The vision for Our House was sparked years ago by the Christian Community Development Coalition (CCDC), whose board members included passionate community members like Randy Perkins and Nancy Capra. At CCDC’s request, BCFS took on the project of bringing Our House from a dream to reality.

“It’s hard to chase your dreams when you’re worried about where you’re going to sleep at night or get your next meal,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS Executive Director of Teen and Youth Services.

“Homelessness impacts much more than the individual, it has a compounding effect on the health and prosperity of the whole community,” she continued. “BCFS is proud to have had the strong support of community leaders like Mayor Norm Archibald and the City of Abilene, as well as partner agencies, as we worked to build and open Our House and begin answering this vital need.”

Thanks to funding from numerous private foundations, individual donors, and a community development block grant through the City of Abilene, BCFS’ Our House represents a nearly $345,000 investment in serving struggling Abilene youth. Prior to opening, BCFS ensured that it secured enough revenue to cover Our House’s operating expenses for at least the first year. This tactic was a powerful statement of BCFS’ commitment to be a sustainable, long-term resource for youth and the community.

Youth may stay at Our House for as long as needed, which may range from a few months to a year. The key strength of the project will be its connection with BCFS’ Abilene Transition Center, which opened in 2011 and provides counseling, case management, and education, housing assistance and employment connections to more than 400 youth each year.

Those assisted by the transition center include former foster youth, youth in the juvenile justice system, high school drop outs and homeless young adults. According to the Abilene Independent School District, an estimated 743 students in were homeless at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Foster youth are especially vulnerable to homelessness. 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’ transition center and Our House project address these issues head-on, providing an easily-accessible and comprehensive network that makes getting help simple for youth.

“We are thankful to the community leaders, the City of Abilene, and our sister agencies, Hendrick Medical Center  and Hardin-Simmons University, for their partnership and support,” said BCFS President and CEO Kevin C. Dinnin.

For more information about BCFS’ work with teen and youth around the world, please visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net.