The best part of CVCAA is our amazing staff and Ivett Ramirez is no exception. This month Ivett was recognized by her peers for going above and beyond and we couldn’t agree more. Ivett is a Direct Services Case Manager here at the agency and works every day to help our neighbors find the resources they need to live more fulfilling lives.
Ivett is celebrating one year with CVCAA at the end of this month, and she has done amazing work for our community in that time. Her favorite part of the job is connecting families to resources they may not have known about. “For me, it’s seeing the faces of our customers and how happy they are to have a place, an agency, that they can come to without judgment and actually speak to the person who wants to listen to them and help out in whatever way possible.”
When she isn’t serving as a vital resource to our neighbors, Ivett enjoys working out and watching movies with her family.
“I just love how this agency consistently strives to go above and beyond on everything we do from utilities, to housing, to advocating for our homeless neighbors and everything else in between.”
And we love how much Ivett truly cares for her Concho Valley neighbors and always goes above and beyond to help members of our community live their best lives.
Helping people, Changing Lives!
Did you know that Community Action Agencies were born out of LBJ’s War on Poverty? Each one across the nation was specifically designed to address the needs and service gaps for the low-income families in their area. Another aspect of Community Action is amplifying the voices of neighbors to be heard all the way to our elected officials’ ears. CVCAA is beginning to take steps towards being a local advocate with our first-ever Bridge Builder’s Event.
This idea came from a community action organization located in the Panhandle of Texas. On Saturday, March 25th at 9 am, San Angelo residents from all walks of life will gather together to share their experiences. Our two guest facilitators will lead a discussion with our 100+ participants on what they would like to see happen in our city and what they wish our elected officials would change.
Later that evening, our facilitators will consolidate the gathered data and information to present to our elected officials in a quiet dinner setting. We have extended invitations to every member of the San Angelo City Council, the Tom Green County Commissioners, the SAISD School Board, and a few other elected representatives. Having all of our local change makers together and learning about their constituent’s insight will be extremely beneficial in starting the important conversations on what the future of San Angelo looks like and what part each of them can play.
We still have spots open for neighbors interested in participating in the morning session and sharing their views and experiences.
If you would like to be a voice and initiate change, please reach out by calling 325-653-2411 or emailing us at [email protected].
You can also fill out the short interest form below to be considered for participating.
Spring and the Changes it Brings
As the winter weather subsides these days, and you look outside, you’re starting to see the signs of spring. Just outside my office window, I have a tree where I can daily see the new buds on the branches. Just beyond the tree is the public skate park along the Concho, and the river itself. As the weather is warming and new life starts to populate our communities, I think about how the Concho Valley grows and changes every year. Each town in the area has different spring activities and events. We’re all shedding the heavy jackets and transitioning to lighter attire as we look forward to the coming change that spring brings. I’m excited to see how spring’s new life shows up, each day a little greener.
If you examine our agency’s name, you’ll find two words that I think are at the heart of who we are and what we do. Those two words are Community and Action. CVCAA has been a part of the Concho Valley for over 50 years. We’ve been an important part of the communities in our area. The services we provide are the action. As we look forward to the spring and onward, CVCAA wants to be an advocate for those in our communities that might feel their voice isn’t being heard. As a central hub of assistance, CVCAA is in a perfect position to affect change for our lower-income neighbors…we want to listen to their voices and amplify them to those in positions that can make the change. In a few weeks, we’ll be hosting our Bridge Builders event, where we will listen to our neighbors about what they want and desire for their part of the community. We’ll then share that information with elected officials and hope for positive change.
It’s not just the services we offer that help people, but it's also how we help their voices be heard. And in their voices being lifted we’re able to have lives changed. Community Action’s mantra is Helping People, Changing Lives…and CVCAA is doing that in our communities!
For everyone born,
On March 28th CVCAA is pairing up with Atmos Energy to hold a one-day bill blitz. From 10 am to 2 pm on the second floor of the Cactus Hotel, representatives from Atmos Energy will be on hand to pay bills for anyone in the Concho Valley.
Those interested do not need an appointment or to fill out an application. Simply show up at the Blitz along with a copy of your most recent Atmos bill.
Atmos Energy has been a long-time partner of CVCAA. In the past, Atmos has graciously provided funds to pay for utility bills for our neighbors here in the Concho Valley and they are always willing to help when needed.
For more information about the upcoming Atmos Blitz, don't hesitate to get in touch with CVCAA at 325-653-2411, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on everything we’re doing here at the agency.
Planning for the Future
We are always busy here at Concho Valley Community Action Agency and this past month has been no exception. As we plan for the future needs of our community, we’ve had the opportunity to apply for several local and state grants that will help us to better serve our neighbors. This month we’ve been able to show off our new location and our hard work to both the United Way and the San Angelo Health Foundation. Staff and volunteers were able to receive a tour and learn more about how we are impacting the Concho Valley.
We’ve also taken our show on the road. Recently our staff had the opportunity to present virtually to the Texas Commission for Veterans in a bid to secure more funds to serve those who have served our nation proudly.
At CVCAA, we are always looking for ways that we can meet the needs of our community and best serve our neighbors on their path to self-sufficiency. Grants on the local, state, and federal level are just one of the ways that we ensure that we can continue to be a helping hand here in the Concho Valley.
Do you want to be a change-maker? Be sure to remember CVCAA this May 2nd for San Angelo Gives or contact us directly to learn more about ways we can partner to make a lasting impact in our community.
On Thursday, January 26th, the Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition conducted its 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is an event where communities across the nation go out and take a census of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in their community. The Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition is an independent group of area agencies designed to specifically target the housing crisis in our city. The PIT Count serves as a baseline for state and federal support for addressing the needs of the homeless community.
“Last year, our PIT Count showed 107 sheltered and unsheltered homeless neighbors in our area. Unfortunately, we know that number is not accurate since we have 189 homeless households on the Rapid Rehousing waitlist shared by CVCAA and the Housing Authority,” said Mike Burnett, Executive Director of Concho Valley Community Action Agency and Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition Chair.
On Thursday, January 26th, 40 volunteers on three different shifts dispersed in teams to various homeless hot spots and meal locations, such as along the Concho River and at Neighbor’s Cafe. We had volunteers all throughout the day starting at 7:30 am to 8 pm. Volunteers had assistance goodie bags to hand out to participating neighbors filled with water bottles, snacks, gloves, and more.
“Since the last PIT Count in 2022, CVCAA and so many other local agencies have really banded together to reach out to our most vulnerable neighbors and meet them where they’re at. I believe all our efforts really contributed to the huge success of this year’s PIT Count,” said Sidney Timmer, Outreach and Marketing Director at Concho Valley Community Action Agency.
In the past year, CVCAA, West Texas Counseling & Guidance, West Side Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and other organizations have begun a weekly outreach lunch to a homeless camp here in the city to begin building relationships and getting them started on the path towards self-sufficiency. Since then, the group has created a monthly Navigation Day, where local agencies take the entire day to provide direct services to homeless neighbors in one central location, such as help acquiring their IDs and documents, applying for state benefits, and receiving medical care from the La Esperanza Mobile Clinic.
This past month, the Navigation Day is on the same day as the PIT Count, Thursday, January 26th. Navigation Day broke a record by having 82 homeless households serviced in one day! While we are waiting on final numbers, we know we passed last year’s PIT Count number, not because there are significantly more homeless today than a year ago, but because of the diligent hard work of our staff and our community partners.