In This Edition
- National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month
- Amistad For Veterans Project (AFVP) Services
- Texas Veterans Commission grants funding for AFVP
- Celebrating Diversity – Pride Month
- Panda Express Fundraiser to benefit Amistad
- Amistad partners with Alon/7-11 to raise funds
- Second COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
- AmistadCARES Program – deadline approaching
- Managed Transportation Organization (MTO) Program Transition
- Community Partner Highlights:
- El Paso Electric Community Partner Award
- The City of El Paso: All-America City Awards
- El Paso United Community Resiliency Center
- The Salvation Army Social Worker – Antonio Favela
- Amistad Celebrations
NATIONAL PTSD AWARENESS MONTH
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a normal reaction to extraordinary events that can range from natural disasters to abuse, assaults, serious car accidents, combat, or fire. These events evoke a wide range of emotions and thought patterns. If not effectively processed using existing coping mechanisms and resources, these thoughts and emotions can disrupt one’s life leading to decreased functioning at work, play and in relationships. Post traumatic stress becomes a disordered condition when significant prolonged deterioration in function occurs. Current data suggest that about 8 million adults will experience PTSD within a given year, but this is only a small portion of those who experience trauma, which indicates many do not develop PTSD following a traumatic event.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs:
- About 7-8% of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
About 10% of women develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared to about 4% of men.
If you have experienced some type of traumatic event and are exhibiting any of the following common symptoms, please seek assistance:
- Avoidance or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, feelings, or reminders closely associated with the event.
- Difficulty remembering details of the event.
- Persistent distorted negative beliefs about yourself, others, the world, causes of the event that result in self-blame or guilt.
- Difficulty experiencing emotions.
- Intrusive distressing thoughts, memories or dreams related to a
- Flashbacks or intensely reliving the
- Intense physiological and/or psychological distress when exposed to internal or external cues related to the event.
AMISTAD FOR VETERANS PROJECT
Amistad For Veterans Project (AFVP) Counseling
Many veterans encounter significant difficulty adjusting to post-military life due to the extraordinary experiences of military services. Amistad is here to help, by offering free mental health counseling and general assistance for veterans and their families.
The goal of the Mental Health Counseling Program is to empower veterans and their families to successfully transition into and re-establish identity within the society they have fought to preserve.
All services are provided by a Licensed Master Social Worker utilizing evidenced based treatment approaches in a private and confidential setting. Virtual counseling sessions are also available.
Texas Veterans Commission Awards Amistad $500,000 Grant
The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) has awarded Amistad a $500,000 Veterans’
Assistance grant to continue providing services to veterans and their families. The grant will provide $300,000 towards general assistance and $200,000 towards mental health counseling.
The TVC has funded Amistad For Veterans Project (AFVP) since 2013. In addition to providing free counseling services, AFVP assists veterans with transportation services, including Sun Metro bus passes, employment training, rent and utility financial assistance, and medication management referrals.
This program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance. The Fund for Veterans’ Assistance provides grants to organizations serving veterans and their families. For more information, visit www.tvc.texas.gov.
As leaders, we are frequently looked to for guidance regarding appropriate means to recognize and celebrate diversity in the workplace. Support staff, peers and senior leaders depend on us to help structure these events. This is relatively easy when it comes to issues like ethnicity as we can cite the benefits of expanding cultural awareness and community sensitivity in the workplace.
Our job sometimes becomes challenging when we talk about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) issues because they can be so polarizing. On one hand we are tasked with providing support for diversity along these lines and on the other hand we are asked to justify why we even need to pay attention to something that is referred to by some as a lifestyle choice that should be kept private.
In essence, both sides are asking flip-sides of the same argument. “Does this matter enough to
you?” and “Why does this even matter?”
LGBTQ issues are a critical concern of vital importance. Second – they’re really not that big of a
The concept I am trying to get across is that issues facing the LGBTQ community in the midst of a world where human rights and basic compassion are of critical importance. When we celebrate their pride, we are celebrating strength and resiliency that can serve as a beacon of hope for others. When we honor their culture and the strength it takes them to express it, we are honoring the basic human rights of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the freedom to engage life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
At the same time, the LGBTQ community deserves to be treated like any other human being. It is good to have one’s diversity celebrated, but we need to avoid creating scenarios where that
celebration devolves into singling them out. The goal is to celebrate their diversity, but not define the LGBTQ community members purely by that one facet of their lives.
My hope is that during pride month you take the time to recognize with dignity and respect the unique beauty expressed by LGBTQ culture. Find a way to do so that celebrates diversity but at the same time realize the need to focus not on their differences, but the ultimate goal of incorporating them completely within the world.
By Andrea Ramirez, CEO
HAVE LUNCH AND SUPPORT AMISTAD!
Have lunch or dinner from Panda Express and help raise funds for Amistad!
- Order online for pick-up or delivery from your nearest Panda Express.
- Apply code 903967 in the Coupon Code box during online checkout at order.pandaexpress.com or on their app.
- Enjoy your meal!
Amistad will receive 28% of all sales on June 4.
AMISTAD PARTNERS WITH ALON/7-11
Amistad has partnered with Alon/7-11 to help raise funds for our Client Health and Welfare Fund. Donations are vital to our agency and any amount helps. Find Amistad donation cans at all participating Alon/7-11 stores from May 1st to May 31st!
AMISTAD HOLDS SECOND COVID-19
On May 20, Amistad held a second COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for clients, staff, family, and the community at large. Amistad partnered with the Texas State Office of Emergency Management to administer Pfizer vaccines to persons 16 years of age and older, as well as children ages 12 – 15, with parents’ permission. Nearly 100 people received a first or second-dose vaccine!
MANAGED TRANSPORTATION ORGANIZATION PROGRAM TRANSITIONS
Effective June 1, 2021, the Managed Transportation Organization (MTO) Program at Amistad will transition over to Access2Care. Amistad will no longer provide the following services:
- Mass Transit Tickets
- Individual Transportation Participant (ITP)
- Meals and Lodging
- Advanced Funds
- Out-of-State Travel
- Attendant Services
- Commercial Airline Transportation Services
- Call Center Operations
To schedule a trip, persons with a Medicaid health plan will need to contact their health plan directly. Persons without a Medicaid health plan will have to call 877-633-8747 and schedule their trip.
Under the MTO Program, Amistad arranged cost-effective non-emergency medical
transportation (NEMT) services for eligible Medicaid clients, Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), and Transportation for Indigent Cancer Patients (TICP), who met the program’s financial and residential eligibility criteria and who had no other means of transportation.
All other transportation programs, including the Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities (5310), as well as referral contracts with other agencies, will not be affected and will continue to operate accordingly.
MTO PROGRAM FAREWELL
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Corporate Management Team, and staff, we would like to thank our MTO staff for all their hard work and dedication throughout the duration of the program. For seven years, Amistad served 23 counties in Far West Texas with nonemergency medical transportation to live-saving treatments. MTO staff including call center agents, managers, supervisors, special authorization unit, and finance team, made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of clients on a daily basis. Most of our staff has transitioned to continue with Access2Care or transferred to a different role within Amistad. We wish the best to our staff on their upcoming endeavors!
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
AMISTAD CARES UTILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CONTINUES
Amistad continues taking applications for the AmistadCARES Utility Assistance Program. The program can provide up to 12 months of assistance to cover past-due water, gas, and electric bills. AmistadCARES is set to run until September 31, 2021, but is contingent on funds availability.
Households with incomes no more than 80% of area median income (AMI)* meeting the following conditions:
One or more individuals in the household has:
- Qualified for unemployment benefits OR
- Has experienced a reduction in household income,
- Incurred significant costs,
- Experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 pandemic, AND
- Has received a past due utility notice
- Must reside within the City of El Paso limits
- Have an active and verifiable account with the utility company
- Must reside within the property for which the assistance is being requested
- Must NOT be receiving utility assistance from other sources
*AMI income limits depend on the number of persons in family. Based on El Paso, TX HUD Metro FMR Area:
How to Apply:
- Download the application online and fill out
- Call 915-298-7307 (select option 1 + option 1 + zip code) to schedule an appointment
Apply by July 16
COMMUNITY PARTNERS HIGHLIGHTS
El Paso Electric Community Partner Award
Amistad is proud to be part of El Paso Electric’s Community Partner Program! The program provides support to community based and nonprofit organizations in our community. This year, El Paso Electric (EPE) awarded Amistad $6,000, which will provide funding for our Client Health and Welfare Fund and Transportation Department. In addition, we have partnered to reach EPE customers and help pay past due electric bills through our AmistadCARES Utility Assistance Program.
The City of El Paso: All-America City Finalist
The City of El Paso is a nationwide finalist for the All-America City Awards 2021 and Amistad is excited to be part of this year’s delegation. The All-America City Awards recognize communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues.
In the past year, we have partnered with the City of El Paso to provide the community with utility assistance through our AmistadCARES Program. With $4.5 million in funding, we have been able to assist over 2,600 families (and counting) who have been impacted by COVID-19. In addition, El Camino a Casa Program was created in partnership with the City of El Paso and other local agencies to address homelessness in our community. Through referrals from our community partners, we have been able to provide wrap-around services to clients, and have enrolled 49 clients in Rapid Rehousing and 21 households in Homeless Prevention.
These projects are part of the All-America City Awards presentation that will take place on June 9, 2021 at 12:10 PM. As part of the delegation, Amistad’s CEO, Andrea Ramirez, will represent Amistad and will highlight the partnerships with the City of El Paso and other community partners.
The All-America City Awards will be held virtually June 7 through June 9, 2021. El Paso’s scheduled presentation will take place Wednesday, June 9 from 12:10PM to 12:30 MST via Zoom. The public is invited to watch live via the City’s Facebook page.
EL PASO UNITED Community Resiliency Center
EL PASO UNITED Community Resiliency Center (CRC) is led by United Way of El Paso County and was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CRC provides assistance and resource navigation to community resources for individuals within El Paso who were affected by COVID-19. Under the CRC, individuals can find a variety of resources including utility assistance, rental assistance, mental health counseling, food, employment assistance,
legal aid and COVID-19 vaccine transportation.
As a community partner, Amistad was invited to speak at the CRC’s press conference, where local government officials and local organizations brought awareness to this valuable community resource.
Learn more about the CRC at:
Salvation Army: Case Worker Spotlight
Antonio (Tony) Favela Jr. works at the Salvation Army as a Case Worker providing intense case management to all shelter clients.
Upon graduating high school, Tony worked at a convenience store where he interacted with various types of individuals. He then became interested in the human condition and societal issues, which inspired him to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Legal Reasoning from University of Texas at El Paso and he later pursued a Masters in Social Work form Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio.
In collaboration with other agencies, including Amistad, Tony has assisted 38 shelter residents transition to permanent housing, apply for their identifications, apply for food stamps, and helped them receive medical assistance. He has been a great addition to the Salvation Army team and a great partner for Amistad through the El Camino a Casa Program.
Employee of the month
Accounting Specialist I
Intensive Case Managers
- Nancy P. Martinez
- Jessica Parra
Remote Intensive Case Manager
- Julieta Nu ez
- Oscar Favela
Guardianship Case Manager
- Jose J. Manquero
- Omar Maldonado
5/4 Antonio Ruiz
5/4 Robert Imai
5/7 Sarah Castañeda
6/6 Norma Iglesias
6/8 Vanessa Reyes
6/8 Sergio Sanchez
6/20 Clarissa Cordova
6/22 Celia Garcia
6/24 Juan Valadez
6/25 Esperanza Morales
2 years Martha Gallegos
2 years Maria Schaffino
2 years Celia Garcia
6 years Jerry Blanco
6 years Priscylla Poventud
8 years Edna Rios
10 years Ernesto Meza Jr.
11 years Andrea Ramirez
12 years Jaime Rivas
17 years Sergio Villareal
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