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’ YouthBuild Program Helps a New Class of Young Adults Gain Experience and Educational Success

Twenty-seven young adults have joined the current class for BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) YouthBuild project. The full-time program helps young adults earn their GED or high school diploma while getting hands-on training to enter the workplace, start a career in construction, or begin college. The seventeen boys and ten girls in the current program hail from Ingram, Kerrville, Bandera, and surrounding communities.

“Dropping out of school is never a good idea. But making this choice – either because a teenager is rebelling or feels like they need to start working – should not be an irreversible decision that sentences them to struggling for the rest of their lives,” said Terri Hipps, executive director of BCFS HHS’ Community Services Division. “YouthBuild is a second chance for young adults who want to work hard and get back on track toward building a brighter, more prosperous future.”

In just a month’s time, participants have already received their OSHA 10, First Aid and CPR certifications. By the time they graduate in August, youth will also be certified in another valuable knowledge and vocational base: construction. BCFS HHS is working with Partners in Ministry’s Home Rehab program, providing home repairs for low-income families.

BCFS HHS’ YouthBuild program is part of the organization’s multifaceted Kerrville Transition Center offerings. The center, currently located at 1105 East Main, was founded in Kerrville five years ago as a “one stop” facility that offers counseling, case management, medical care, and emergency housing. The center also helps with life skills training, literacy training, educational support, and employment connections to former foster youth, youth in the juvenile justice system, high school drop outs and homeless young adults.

Because other non-profit organizations, government agencies, and community partners are working at the center with BCFS HHS, services are more easily accessed by youth and existing resources are not wastefully duplicated elsewhere. This methodology also boosts innovation through shared talents and stretches financial resources to support many missions.

Since opening, BCFS HHS’ Kerrville Transition Center has helped thousands of homeless and struggling youth find the resources they need to get their lives on track and grow into self-sufficient, law-abiding and employed adults. This year, the center is set to help more than 4,000 struggling young adults in our area.

One formidable achievement of the center is its ability to reduce and prevent crime. Among the youth served by BCFS HHS’ transition center who have gotten in trouble for gateway activities like truancy, or those who have actually served time, 87 percent did not reoffend at least one year after receiving help from BCFS HHS.

Due to an exponential increase in demand for services and growth of program offerings, the center’s operations now spill out into different locations – negating the effectiveness of the “one stop” model. This is one reason why the Cailloux Foundation put forward a $500,000 challenge grant to build a new 16,000 square foot center. To complete the project, BCFS HHS is leading a $1.9 million capital campaign, titled Step Up for Youth.

The organization has already surpassed the $1 million fundraising mark. Once complete, the center will house other non-profits like Art to Heart, Families in Literacy, and Partners in Ministry Vision Youth. This new center, which is located on a non-profit campus managed by the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, will create a dynamic synergism among the agencies, increase their effectiveness, as well as cut down costs for all nonprofits. Ultimately, the center will be the most robust site for care and compassion for Hill Country youth.

Art Given From the Heart in Kerrville

Generous donation of artwork will be showcased in BCFS’ new transition center

Photo: Pictured left to right: Lynda Ables, 
Marilynn Branham, Betty Vernon, Kathleen Maxwell and Paul UrbanImage: Approximately 25 people, including Lynda Ables and Betty Vernon, attended an art reception hosted by BCFS honoring Branham. Pictured left to right: Lynda Ables, Marilynn Branham, Betty Vernon, Kathleen Maxwell and Paul Urban.

Local artist, Marilynn Branham, has donated 21 original paintings to BCFS Health and Human Services’ Kerrville Transition Center. The center, which is currently located at 1105 East Main, is leading a capital campaign to build a larger facility for local at-risk youth to access a myriad of services aimed at helping them transition into independent adults. Once complete, the 14,000 sq. ft. facility will proudly display Branham’s works of art for youth and all in the community to enjoy.

Five years ago, BCFS established the Kerrville Transition Center as a “one stop shop” for counseling, case management, medical care, emergency housing, life skills training, literacy training, educational support, and employment connections. Those served by the center include former foster youth, youth in the juvenile justice system, high school drop outs and homeless young adults.

Over the years, a 167% increase in demand for the center’s services and significant program expansion by BCFS has caused the center to spill out into different locations – negating the effectiveness of the “one stop” model. In order to bring resources back under one roof, BCFS has launched a $1.9 million capital campaign, titled “Step Up for Youth,” to build a larger transition center.

The Cailloux Foundation has already provided BCFS with a generous $500,000 challenge grant to build the new facility. Now, BCFS is looking toward area businesses, private foundations and individuals to also make an investment in this proven project by November 30th.

“BCFS is honored to have been chosen as the location where Marilynn’s beautiful artwork will be shared with the community,” said BCFS Development Officer Kathleen Maxwell. “We are grateful to her and all others who share our passion for inspiring young adults to follow their dreams.”