United Way Partner Agencies Help in Many Different Ways

What If This Happened to You?

What if you woke up finally sick of the way you feel and how you behave after drinking too much, and really want to change your life -- where do you go?

Or, you work long hours at a low wage job because you never learned to read and have problems with the English language. Where can you get help so you can get a better job?

Or you have a house, but your sister’s family can’t get into an affordable one in a safe area, since they work but just don’t earn much. Is there any option out there for them?  

In each situation, one of the 17 partner agencies of Victoria County United Way can help.   

For the person trying to recover from alcoholism or drug addiction, the Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach Center provides intensive and supportive outpatient treatment for residents of Victoria, DeWitt, Goliad, Lavaca, Calhoun and Jackson counties.

Alcoholism and drug addiction touch many more lives than that of the individual.  Helping a person recover helps families and impacts whole communities.  People going through the program here have given high praise for the support they received in changing their lives.

Adults and families wanting to learn to read and improve their basic literacy, obtain their GED., and improve their job related education needs, can go to the Victoria Adult Literacy Council.   This unique organization recruits, trains and supports volunteer tutors who teach and reinforce literacy skills, including "English as a Second Language" and communication skills. VALC also provides an innovative after school program, “Family Literacy in Practice” (FLIP) to help adults and their children improve the family’s level of learning. This program is provided at 2 locations in Victoria.  Lives have been changed by this dedicated group of volunteers.

Qualified low income families have their dreams fulfilled with help from the Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit Christian ecumenical housing ministry. Habitat with the help of many volunteers and contributors, has built almost 100 quality low cost homes for families here!  They work in partnership with low income families in Victoria, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson and Lavaca counties. 

Volunteers build the houses, funded by donations from foundations, corporations, local businesses and individuals. Qualified families work at least 300 hours of ‘Sweat Equity’ and purchase the homes at cost, making payments over a 30-year period with no interest. These payments create a sustainable funding source for building more homes for other needy people. These families are proud of their homes and are responsible home owners.

These 3 agencies, as well as the other 14 Victoria County United Way partner agencies, help individuals and families every day. Whether through a critical life intervention, daily food and support, or helping smooth the path to a better life, these caring staff and volunteers improve our entire community’s quality of life.

Throughout the year, our local United Way connects people in need with agencies that help in a variety of situations. Their actions strengthen the people directly involved and positively impact their families.  Our community’s quality of life is improved immeasurably by improving the health and well-being of people in need. 

People living here know, many firsthand, of the wrenching impact to lives from the sudden and drastic drop in oil prices, resulting in increased needs by agencies for funding support.

At this time of the year, Victoria County United Way focuses on helping agencies apply for annual grant funds to operate their programs. A certified 501 (c) 3 agency providing services in the Victoria area and meeting other criteria, may apply for funding. The organization must also receive funding from other sources and have their finances in order.

Ensuring that the funds contributed from caring individuals, employees and companies meet the needs of our area is top priority. Informed and trained community volunteers make up the Community Investment Committee. They review the grant applications, make site visits to each agency and participate in the grant hearings during which each agency presents its application and explains what it will do with the funding.  This committee makes recommendations, and the VCUW Board of Directors makes the decisions in June so agencies can know the support they will be receiving for the new fiscal year.

How some of the 17 local partner agencies improve lives in our community will be discussed in additional guest columns on the Advocate’s Viewpoints page. If you want to volunteer your time and talents with the Victoria County United Way, or any of the agencies listed here, just go to this website: www.unitedwayvictoria.org

    The 17 local VCUW partner agencies

American Red Cross – Crossroads Chapter

Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach

Boys & Girls Club of Victoria

Community Action Committee of Victoria County

Communities in Schools

Food Bank of the Golden Crescent

Golden Crescent CASA

Gulf Bend Center

Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity

Hope of South Texas

Mid-Coast Family Services

Perpetual Help Home

STARS

Victoria Adult Literacy Council

Victoria Christian Assistance   Ministry

Victoria County Senior Citizens

YMCA