New Caritas Case Management Program Already Seeing Successes

January 2014 was a water-shed date for Caritas—that’s when we brought the case management program on line and really began to change peoples’ lives in a more profound and long-lasting way. Before this time just about all of our services were geared to be “relief” in nature—a response to a crisis in someone’s life, whether it be lack of food, loss of utility service, or becoming suddenly homeless. With the initiation of case management, Caritas entered into a new type of service delivery which might be described as “development” in the sense of helping people move from a state of dependency on assistance to a level of greater self-reliance and independence. Begun through a generous grant from the Rapoport Foundation, the Caritas Case Management program has grown rapidly and has produced numerous success stories. A major expansion occurred in 2016 with the receipt of a $150,000 grant from the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) that allowed us to focus case management services on veterans that were living in or near poverty. That program has been continued and boosted with a TVC grant in 2017 for $200,000 which is allowing us to have a case manager working directly in the rural counties of Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill and Limestone.

An equally exciting development has been the creation of the Waco Employer Resource Network (WERN) which is a joint effort between Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries and Caritas and funded through the City of Waco using dollars earmarked for Prosper Waco initiatives. Through WERN, Goodwill will be a single point of contact for local businesses for the placement of workers (from low-income situations). Caritas will provide to these businesses the services of a “success coach” for workers who may experience personal and/or work-related difficulties that may threaten their continued employment. The goal of WERN is to help people keep their jobs as well as be a prop for the businesses participating in this effort. In the end, the hope is that we impact local poverty levels and increase the quality of life in our community.

Caritas continues to provide important relief services through its food pantry and other urgent services—these are necessary to effectively serve our low-income client base. But the development services represent where Caritas is moving now and for the future. The only way we can make a lasting impact on our poverty rate is through programs that effectively bring about change in peoples’ lives, and that is what case management does. Caritas would not have made this headway without the outstanding work of Tammy Stevens, Case Management Director, who set the program in motion back in 2014. And the day-to-day work would not have produced the amazing outcomes without the caring, compassion and commitment of our case managers, LaTasha Davis and Janie Ramon. We’re looking forward to the remainder of 2017 and the new and expanded roles which our case management program will be taking!

For more information about Caritas Case Management, contact Tammy Stevens at tstevens@caritas-waco.org or at 254-753-4593, ext. 227.

 
 
Tammy Stevens