This year, CVCAA asked the Concho Valley to be a part of the solution by donating during the National Day of Giving on November 29th. Every year, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is designated as Giving Tuesday and is an opportunity for our neighbors to show their gratitude for the good things they have in the lives but helping out those that don’t have as much to be grateful for.
CVCAA is thankful for every donation made, which stays right here in our community to help our neighbors who are struggling or have fallen on hard times.
We are also grateful for Abell-Hanger foundation who, through a generous grant, is matching every dollar donated to the agency.
If you would still like to contribute, you aren’t out of time yet. You can make a donation online at https://bit.ly/ConchoValleyGives or just scan the QR code at the bottom of this page. Donations can also be mailed to our office at PO Box 671 San Angelo, TX 76902.
Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated. You are truly making
a difference in your community!
A Commitment to Helping People, Changing Lives
It’s a busy time at CVCAA! As you may have heard, we have a new office location that we’re moving into. Starting on December 7, we’ll be located at the Concho Suites office complex, at 133 W. Concho Ave. We’re in suite 301, but don’t worry…we’re not on the 3rd floor. We’re the whole building!! We’re excited to be in our new space!
Besides moving, our team has been working diligently to finish up the year and get ready for 2023. Our utilities team will begin accepting 2023 applications via email and mobile app right away. Walkup and drop-off applications will start the 2nd week of January. Our housing and weatherization teams have been busy as well in their programs providing much-needed assistance in these cold months. For 2022 we have assisted over 7500 individuals, which is a high for us.
If you follow us on social media, you’ve probably seen posts about our work with the homeless community. You may not know this, but San Angelo is one of the largest cities in Texas without an operating homeless shelter. This means our neighbors are at extreme risk, especially in the winter months. We partner with several agencies and the Concho Valley Homeless Coalition to get them out of the elements and Into the Warmth when the temperature drops. But that is just a band-aid. San Angelo needs a permanent shelter so that agencies like CVCAA can offer direct services to our homeless neighbors and work to get them stably housed. This will take a lot of community effort and of course, funding. It won’t be easy, but CVCAA is right in there working with our partners to try to get it figured out.
I’d like to leave you with some words from Melville, written almost 200 years ago in his novel Redburn. In the text, Redburn travels to Launcelott’s Hey, a street where the homeless in this English town lived. As he tries to get assistance for the homeless, he encounters several individuals with attitudes that you would hear still today. At the end of the chapter, Melville writes "Tell me, oh Bible, that story of Lazarus again, that I may find comfort in my heart for the poor and forlorn. Surrounded as we are by the wants of fellow men, and yet given to follow our own pleasures, regardless of their pains, are we not like people sitting up with a corpse, and making merry in the house of the dead?"
As we’re celebrating this time of year, enjoying friends and family, let's keep in mind that there are many in our community that are in need. Let's not make merry in the house of the dead, but let us lead the charge in finding long-lasting solutions.
For everyone born,
CVCAA Staff Grant Senior Christmas Wishes
For the past 14 years, Meals for the Elderly has held their annual Seniors Still Believe Tree Event. Set up in Sunset Mall, a Christmas tree is filled with red ornaments, each with a homebound elderly individual's name, Christmas gift wish, and sizes if necessary. This year, CVCAA Executive Director Mike Burnett decided it was time CVCAA joined together to give back this holiday season.
All of the CVCAA pooled together their money and selected 5 local seniors from the tree to surprise! Unfortunately, every year there are seniors whose ornament is not picked from the tree, and Meals for the Elderly try to put together something to get them. Our staff decided to get 5 gift bags full of stocking stuffers for Meals for the Elderly to distribute to the rest of the seniors so everyone gets a gift! Everyone at CVCAA is excited to keep this new tradition going next year!
At the beginning of 2022, a fire devastated a local homeless encampment, and many people lost what few belongings they actually had. While this fire was a horrible event, it did spark the beginning of the Homeless Outreach Team, a group of churches and non-profit organizations coming together to meet our vulnerable neighbors where they were and build relationships.
Since April, West Side Baptist Church, 1st Presbyterian Church, West Texas Counseling and Guidance, and CVCAA have brought lunch to the camp every Tuesday, rain or shine. Once many of our neighbors are out of a home, many of their items and documents get lost or stolen. Without an ID, it is impossible for them to apply for SNAP, get a job, or even get on the housing waitlist.
In order to take our outreach to the next level and get our neighbors exactly what they needed, we created Navigation Days! Numerous agencies take one day out of the month to provide direct services to people that same day. This is not a resource fair where people are just handed pamphlets and sent on their way. We have had agencies and volunteers helping neighbors get documents, apply for state benefits, receive clothes and shoes, get a haircut, and much more.
These Navigation Days have grown substantially since their creation in June. Recently, we have outgrown the Cactus Hotel Speakeasy and took our September Navigation Day to the CVT Annex Building. On that Navigation Day...
65 Homeless Households Served
Here at Concho Valley Community Action Agency, we have several amazing programs to provide our neighbors with help getting by. But what makes our agency truly amazing is the dedicated and caring staff that work here. This month we want to introduce you to superstar, Jennie Wagner.
Jennie has only been working at CVCAA since July 2021, but in that short period of time, she has made a tremendous impact on our community.
Jennie serves as the Housing Team Lead. While that sounds simple enough, there is a lot more to it. Our housing program is grant based and changes regularly as old programs are rolled out and new programs roll in. Each of those changes comes with the challenge of learning new rules and processes so they can be explained to our clients as well as extensive reporting. Jennie handles all of this with ease and is always willing to jump in with both feet.
When she isn’t serving our clients, Jennie is a diva on the stage! She is a member of the B.A.D. Improv troupe at Be Theatre where she keeps the audience in stitches every month. She is also a seasoned actress and is currently involved in two different shows at Angelo Civic Theatre. It’s no surprise that Jennie keeps the entire office laughing wherever she goes.
Since moving here in 2017, Jennie said she didn’t really know much about San Angelo until she started working at CVCAA and feels like this job was really her first introduction to the city. She said the number of community resources, events, and activities that she missed out on is a tragedy.
Speaking of missing out, Jennie wishes that everyone knew about all the services that CVCAA offers. Even with all our efforts, she said that every week she meets at least one person who has no idea how many services are available to them. She tries to tell everyone she knows about what we do. “Even if they don’t need the assistance, I am sure someone they know does.”
Jennie said that her favorite part of her job here is her co-workers! “Our job is very high stress due to the situations our clients are in, but the people here make it easy to face the day. They make every day a great day!” We think Jennie is the best, too!