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133 W Concho Ave
Suite 301
San Angelo, TX 76903
325.653.2411
1.877.41.CVCAA

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From the Executive Director – December 2023
Coffee mike

 

Listen Up, Concho Valley! 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, one thing I’ve discovered is that I enjoy a good podcast.  Like most things in popular culture, I tend to find things later than the rest of the world.  I enjoy learning new things…and listening to people who know things talk about those things they know.  Some of my favorite podcasts include Smartless, Stuff You Should Know, Office Ladies, and Who Will Save Generation X.  The last one of those is a trivia podcast that hits at two of my favorite things…trivia and Generation X nostalgia. 

This summer, I had the opportunity to visit with the leadership at the Community Action Council in Lexington, KY.  You might be thinking “Kentucky??”  Well, it turns out that one of my wife’s best friends from college is the current board chair for them.  Small world.  He connected me with Sharon Price, their Executive Director.  We visited for a day in their facilities and talked a LOT about their podcast series Lex Talk More Action (what a great name) and their video podcast Unapologetically Woman.  What the CAC has learned is that by utilizing these media forms, they are able to connect with their community in a new and exciting way. 

So, upon returning to Texas, I jumped at the chance to do something similar.  The result is CVCAA Unplugged: From Action To Impact.  In each episode, I get to sit with someone who is making an impact in our community…either as an individual or as a leader of an agency working with those in need. If you head over to https://cvcaa.podbean.com/, or search for us on your favorite podcast provider, you can hear some of these conversations. We’re seven episodes in, so if you jump on it now, you can be caught up in no time and ready for more! 

There is already a lot happening in the Concho Valley, and we should share the word about it.  My hope is that the more people we have in conversation about assisting our low-income neighbors, the more good we can get done.  

 

For Everyone Born, 

Mike 

 

Above and Beyond: Staff Recognition
Camille

 

All the staff here at CVCAA are rockstars, but every month our staff nominate each other for going above in beyond in serving our community. This month we are pleased to recognize the amazing efforts of Camille Duarte!

Camille has been with the agency for almost two years. She has spent most of that time as our Outreach Coordinator, serving as the face of our agency in the community, especially in our rural communities. Camille recently made the switch to become our Office Assistant. Camille is now the main person manning the front desk and is a smiling face greeting our clients and visitors.

Born and raised right here in San Angelo, Camille moved away for a few years, but the Concho Valley pulled her back in. San Angelo is where her family and friends are, and it’s where she is proud to call home.

Since joining the team, Camille has been instrumental in serving our neighbors. She’s learned just how large our homeless community is and how much need there is for the work that we do here. Her favorite part of her job is being able to provide relief to our neighbors, hearing their stories, and seeing the genuine positive progress being made from our assistance.

When she isn’t helping people and changing lives, Camille enjoys hanging out with her family and taking her kids to the park.

We are lucky to have Camille as part of our team here. Her smiling face is infectious, and we are proud that she represents CVCAA so well. Great job, Camille!

Until Next Year, Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week!

 

Recently, CVCAA had the honor of participating in Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, a nationwide initiative aimed at raising awareness about the critical issues of hunger and homelessness that affect communities across the country. The week-long event, taking place from November 11th to the 18th, featured a series of impactful activities, discussions, and campaigns to educate and engage the community.

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual national event, held during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. It provides an opportunity for organizations, communities, and individuals to come together to address the pressing challenges of hunger and homelessness, while also recognizing the dedicated efforts of those working towards solutions.

Throughout the week, CVCAA and the Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition hosted a diverse range of events designed to inform, inspire, and mobilize individuals in the fight against homelessness. These events included…

  • A Long Walk Home: Homeless Vigil on San Angelo City Hall Steps November 13th at 7pm - Homelessness isn’t just inconvenient or a struggle, it’s life-threatening. On the evening of our vigil, it was raining with a very low temperature. We were touched by the people that came out in that weather to honor those who cannot escape the rain and those who have lost their lives on the street.

 

  • Homeless Symposium at St. Paul Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, November 14th at 9am- Over 50 community members joined us to take a hard look at homelessness in our city and search for solutions. We got to hear directly from a panel of people who know first-hand what it’s like to be homeless and what obstacles lie in their way.

 

  • Quiz for a Cause at the Martial Pint on Tuesday, November 14th at 7:30pm - CVCAA took over Geeks Who Drink at the Martial Pint for Hunger and Homelessness Week! While teams of family and friends put their heads together, they got to hear about our services and how they can help be a part of the solution. After a fun night of puzzling questions and laughs, we had raised over $800 for our Mind the Gap funds, which help our homeless avoid falling through cracks in services!

 

  • Free Movie Showing at Brooks & Bates on Thursday November 16th at 6:30pm- To finish up our week, we held a free movie night showing the film Rosie at the Brooks and Bates Theatre in the San Angelo Performing Arts Center. Rosie is a film that follows a family of six 36 hours after losing their home, struggling to find a place to stay and shielding their children from the harsh world.

"We are deeply committed to the cause of eradicating hunger and homelessness in our community," said Mike Burnett, Executive Director of CVCAA and Chairperson for the Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition. "Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is an important opportunity for us to engage with the community, raise awareness, and work collectively towards solutions that make a meaningful impact. It is going to take all of us to work towards a better San Angelo".

Bridge Builders Results
Apr 10, 2023   08:00 AM
by Administrator
IMG 2123

 

One important aspect of Community Action Agencies is advocating for our low-income neighbors to make sure that their opinions and needs are being heard. This is something CVCAA has started to pay special attention to in the past 6 months. If you visit our Facebook page, you’ll see multiple instances where our leadership team has addressed San Angelo’s City Council on important topics such as the need for a homeless warming shelter during the winter months or the economic and social impact of non-profits on our city. Our Bridge Builders Advocacy event on Saturday, March 25th was the first step in bringing our neighbors’ needs directly to our officials’ ears.

We began our Saturday morning with coffee, donuts, and juice at First Presbyterian Church with our two facilitators Jason Sabo and Amanda Shelton with the Texas Association of Community Action Agencies. Once everyone was settled and the children were in the kid’s rooms, Jason proceeded to lead a discussion with the participants on what they wanted to see continue happening in San Angelo, what should start happening, and lastly, what needs to stop happening in this city. Each table with people from different backgrounds and experiences talked among themselves and shared their desires for San Angelo. Table representatives would then share with the larger focus group, summoning up nods of agreement from other neighbors who have seen the same thing.

After fully discussing numerous aspects of the city, we collected all of the papers and returned to our office to consolidate the data into an easy-to-read sheet. Later that evening, we sat down with City Council Member Larry Miller, SAISD School Board Member Ami Mizell-Flint, and County Commissioner Rick Bacon. Jason Sabo went point by point down our collected data with the trio, asking what can be done and what efforts are already in place. Having representatives from different parts of our local governments gave everyone the opportunity to see exactly where the progress kinks were occurring.

For our local officials that were not able to attend, the Bridge Builders’ results were sent out to be included in their weekly communication packets. Our Executive Director Mike Burnett has also sent each invited official an individual email with the Bridge Builders results document and an invitation to sit down and discuss how we can partner together for the good of our community. This Bridge Builders event was an amazing first step in closing the gaps between our elected representatives and the people they vow to serve.

Click below to see all of the data collected at our Bridge Builders Advocacy Event!

Bridge Builders Results