RESIDENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT – July 2018
Top: Bonnie Pecina, Camille Carrillo, Lianne Staff, Brianna Lopez, Maria Calcaben
Front: Gene Martin II, Norman Contreras, Kathryn McDaniels, Kathryn LaPlant-Israel, Stewart Dale Spencer
The San Marcos Housing Authority (SMHA) provides decent, safe, and affordable housing for about 574 low-income households, including elderly & disabled, in the San Marcos area through the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs. The mission of SMHA Resident Services is to provide a wide variety of direct services and referrals to families and individuals receiving housing assistance. Our Resident Services Department supports several initiatives, all of which are united in the overall goals of improving the quality of life for public housing residents, reducing dependence on the welfare system, and empowering our residents to take charge of their lives and of their environment. The strategies we employ to reach these goals include several complementary initiatives: Elderly/Disabled Services, Youth Development Services, Self-Sufficiency, and Resident Organization. Each Resident Services facility includes a meeting room, a computer lab, a kitchen, and an office. We provide services, to one degree or another, to about 950 persons. The best outcome is for a family to no longer need government assistance for housing and other basic needs or at least to make it possible for their children to achieve this outcome.
SMHA Resident Services Program initiatives include:
Youth Development Services
- Operating the Youth Development program, which is an after-school and summer-time drug prevention program for at-risk youth.
- Operating Teen Groups to help teenagers develop themselves and give back to the community.
- Providing nutritious meals to low-income children four days a week through the Kid’s Café with support from Grande Communications, Sac-n-Pac Food Stores, Chuck Nash Chevrolet, and the Capitol Area Food Bank.
- Offering all Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher participants the tools they need to achieve self-sufficiency through housing assistance, effective case management, facilitation of support groups, and coordinating access to local, state, and federal resources.
- Providing a state-of-the-art computer lab at each public housing site to ensure that residents are able to access online resources that might not otherwise be available to them. A major upgrade of these labs in 2012 was funded by generous donations from the Grande Passion & Commitment Investment Club, the Central Texas Medical Center’s Women’s Council, the San Marcos Lion’s Club, and the San Marcos Reinvestment Corporation (a non-profit subsidiary corporation of the SMHA).
- Helping residents fulfill their dream of home ownership by teaching money management skills and helping them build assets.
- Connecting participants to job training and educational resources.
- Dedicating the Chapultepec Homes site to this program and facilitating an environment of community support.
- Helping elderly and disabled individuals obtain free or low-cost prescription drugs, transportation to medical appointments, coordination of in-home services, and recreational and social activities.
- Coordinating with the Capital Area Food Bank to deliver life-sustaining food to home-bound elderly and disabled residents in Public Housing.
- Providing referrals to other resources, including the Allen Woods Nutrition Center (Dining Room and Meals-on-Wheels) operated by Combined Community Action, Inc. and specializing in services to the elderly.
- Providing support for resident organizations at each housing site.
- Creating an emergency fund designed to help families when no other community resources are available.
- Coordinating with local agencies and supervising volunteer programs which serve all residents.
- Holding an annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet to recognize resident and non-resident volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy in support of Resident Services operations.
All initiatives include providing community service opportunities for residents, interns and other students from Texas State University, religious and service organizations, and other community volunteers.
For more information on any of our services, call 512-396-3364.