AMISTAD TURNS 45!
Wow! 45 years of proudly serving our community! Throughout the years, Amistad has seen many changes, faced challenges, experienced growth, but most importantly, has positively impacted the lives of thousands of people. What began as a project by Mrs. Lucy G. Acosta to provide transportation to elderly residents and persons with disabilities, has grown into a multi-faceted organization serving El Paso and Far West Texas.
Amistad was founded in 1976 under the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) by Mrs. Acosta who saw a need in the community for transportation to medical appointments for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Mrs. Acosta, along with a few volunteers, began providing transportation for this underserved population in their own vehicles. 45 years later, Amistad has a fleet of 42 vehicles and serves 23 counties in Far West Texas. Amistad also grew its social service programs to include the Guardianship Program with 400 court-appointed clients, Money Management Program, the Aging, Disability & Transportation Resource Center (ADTRC), veteran services through the Amistad For Veterans Project (AFVP), the Amistad Counseling Center, the Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Program, and the Peer Support Specialist Network.
Today, Mrs. Acosta’s legacy lives on thanks to the support of staff and management, the Board of Directors, corporate sponsors, community partners, donors, and volunteers. Although the pandemic has brought on challenges, it has also brought more opportunities, expanding our reach to the people we serve. Now more than ever, we need the community’s support to help us continue our Mission! Find out how you can contribute and make a difference during our 45th birthday!
Get Involved, support our mission!
In honor of our 45th birthday, we are asking the community to help us put a virtual candle on our birthday cake! For every $1,000 we raise, one candle will go on our cake! Our goal is to raise $45,000 in 45 days, from March 1st through April 14th. Here’s how you can help:
@Amistad - El Paso,TX
All funds will go towards our Client Health and Welfare Fund, which supports all of our social service programs and helps meet our clients’ basic needs such as clothing, food, personal hygiene products, and more. At Amistad, we serve some of the most vulnerable populations including the elderly, persons with disabilities, veterans, and persons at-risk. Our Mission is to advocate, connect and deliver social services to communities, ensuring a dignified and meaningful life for all. You can be part of our Mission, get involved and make a difference in your community! Donations can be made online at www.projectamistad.org/donate or a check can be written out to Project Amistad and mailed to 3210 Dyer St. El Paso, TX 79930.
AMISTAD TRANSPORTS SENIORS TO COVID-19 VACCINE MEGA SITE
Amistad is proud to continue providing support to our community during the pandemic by partnering with the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Texas (HACEP) and transporting 600 HACEP elderly residents to the El Paso County Coliseum to get vaccinated against COVID-19!
On February 5th and February 26th, Amistad coordinated 8 vehicles to provide transportation services for elderly residents from 12 HACEP complexes to the El Paso County Coliseum where University Medical Center of El Paso staff administered the first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccines to hundreds of the most vulnerable residents. Amistad’s fleet helped provide transportation to those who might otherwise not have had access to the vaccination sites.
This event was also made possible in collaboration with El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and the County of El Paso.
Transit Driver Appreciation Day
March 18, 2021
March 18 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day! For the last year, Amistad drivers have been at the frontline of the pandemic. The Amistad COVID-19 Response Team has provided over 700 one-way trips for presumptive or positive COVID-19 clients. Transportation operations have not stopped and our drivers have been committed to providing this essential service to those who need it. At Amistad, we would like to thank our drivers for all their hard work before and throughout the pandemic. Thank you!
Happy World Social Work Day!
March 16, 2021
March 16 is World Social Work Day and it is a day to recognize the commitment and hard work of social workers around the globe. Social workers play diverse roles in different communities, but they advocate for their clients and make sure they have access to the resources they need to improve and maintain their quality of life, and respond to crises. The work of a social worker is far from easy and it takes a special type of person to dedicate themselves to serving those who are in vulnerable situations. As for Amistad, our social workers are also known as Guardianship Case Managers and they play a very important significant role in the lives of our 400 clients.
Guardianship clients are appointed to Amistad by the Probate Court, and are persons who have been found to be incapacitated and unable to support or protect their own health and welfare. Guardianship Case Managers:
- Advocate for their clients and their autonomy and self determination
- Continuously assess their client’s social, psychological, educational, medical, health and personal care needs
- Secure a safe and healthy residence for their clients
- Apply for Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare benefits
- Consent to or object to medical and dental treatment
- Manage and invest the individual’s personal property
Despite the pandemic, Amistad Guardianship Case Managers continued providing services to their clients. They ensured their basic needs (shelter, food, clothing, medical care, etc.) were met, all while facing different challenges. Staff was trained on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to continue providing essential services to the clients, such as conducting home visits, shopping, accompanying them to doctor appointments and hospitals. Guardianship Case Managers maintained a 6-foot distance, visited with clients through their bedroom windows and/or virtually to keep the clients and staff safe. Guardianship staff also ensured continuity of care by being available to clients 24/7.
Kezia Flores is a Guardianship Case Manager and has been with Amistad for over two years. Kezia talks about her responsibilities as a guardian and her experience with her clients.
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
Amistad in the Community
On February 15, El Paso County Commissioner Carl Robinson hosted a blood drive at Amistad’s Conference Center. In partnership with Vitalant, they collected 17 units of lifesaving blood for the community!
Amistad joined Kelly Memorial Food Pantry for a drive-thru Health Fair! Amistad staff provided information to nearly 100 people on our Amistad Counseling Center, transportation services, veterans mental health counseling and services, as well current programs related to COVID-19, such as the AmistadCARES Utility Assistance Program.
Employee of the month
Guardianship File Clerk
It’s a Boy!
Congratulations to our Human Resource Specialist, Mayra Najera, on the upcoming arrival of her baby boy!
3/2 Sandy Reyes
3/5 Adrian Escobar
3/5 Silvia Villalba
3/6 Felipe Rosales
3/8 Virginia Hernandez
3/11 Rosario Fernandez
3/12 Amparo Pimentel
3/14 Norma Carrasco
3/17 Jesus Hernandez
3/23 Alicia Figueroa
3/25 Joseph Torres
3/30 Raul Portillo
2 Years Anne Aguirre
2 Years Gabriela Marroquin
3 Years Carmen Ward
6 Years Joan Lujan
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