Two Hays County veterans programs were presented with grant funding from the Texas Veterans Commission on Friday. Above, Hays County and TVC representatives pose with a check for $150,000. Daily Record photo by Nick Castillo
Texas Veterans Commission grants funding to 2 Hays County programs
Two Hays County veterans programs were presented with grant funding from the Texas Veterans Commission on Friday.
TVC presented “big checks” to 30 organizations from across Central Texas, including the Hays County Veterans Service Office and Hays County Veterans Treatment Court, at a ceremony inside the Hays County Government Center. TVC offers grants in five different categories — general assistance, housing for Texas heroes, veteran mental health grant, veteran treatment courts and veteran county service offices funding. TVC has awarded $234 million in grant funding to nonprofit and local government organizations between 2009 and the current 2022-23 grant cycle.
TVC Commissioner Mary Lopez Dale said everyone is responsible for caring for those who served.
“If there are three things you take away from today, remember this: Veterans, don’t wait until you’re in a crisis to ask for help,” Dale said. “The services I announced today are not charity, they are Texas’ way of recognizing your sacrifices for our nation. Two, anyone who knows a Texas Veteran in need can find assistance at the TVC website 24 hours a day, seven days a week ... I do ask you to go check that out. Know the services offered and have contacts who are there that way you can be a resource for a veteran too.”
TVC will be awarding 139 grants this year, totaling $31.47 million. The veterans commission awarded $7.61 million to organizations in the Central Texas region. The Hays County Veterans Service Office was granted a $150,000 General Assistance grant, which will provide financial assistance services for veterans, dependents and surviving spouses in Hays County.
Hays County Veteran Services Officer Jude Prather said the grant funding will be able to help veterans in the community through the Hope For Hays Veterans program.
“If a veteran finds themselves needing some help, this program can help get people caught up with any kind of late bills,” Prather said. “This is the third year we’ve gotten to receive this grant. It’s going to help a lot of veterans in our community.”
Added Hope For Hays County Veterans Case Manager Amanda Gomes Torres: “We are happy to help. We’re just happy to help any veteran in a financial crisis with a good program. We’re just happy to be a part of the community.”
Prather said Hays County receiving this funding from TVC wouldn’t be possible without support from Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and the commissioners court.
“It is key to me that we don’t just support our troops while they’re away,” Becerra said during Friday’s ceremony. “The most important time to me is what we do when they come home. Support our troops when they come home.”
The Hays County Veterans Treatment Court received a $300,000 Veterans Treatment Court grant, which will help fund treatment court services for veterans across three counties within the Central Texas region.
Above, Hays County Veterans Treatment Court Judge Chris Johnson and Hays County representatives pose for a photo with a grant check on Friday. Daily Record photo by Nick Castillo
Veterans Treatment Court Judge Chris Johnson said the grant funding from TVC, which the court has received for the fifth consecutive year, is “absolutely, positively essential.”
“Without it, we cannot accomplish our mission,” Johnson said.
He added that the court works to help veterans who have gotten themselves into the criminal justice system.
“What our court does is it helps to treat and coordinates the treatment of veterans who have run afoul in the criminal justice system and largely as a result of drug and alcohol problems secondary to military service, military trauma,” Johnson said. “Often there is a secondary component of mental health. Mental health, that’s an aspect as well and so we’ll help them get access to treatment and help them get access to treatment and resources that they would not otherwise get. We help hold them accountable so that they can learn from the errors of their ways and they can reintegrate back into society.”
For more information from the Texas Veterans Commission visit www.tvc.texas.gov.